SM Fad- January

It is time for the biggest festival of Tamil Nadu. Pongal.

What began centuries ago as a festival that celebrates the harvest season and the gratitude of farmers to the main factors that help in the success of agriculture, has become a political issue now. It is disheartening to see people taking offence to many, many misguided information and taking to social media to spread negativity.

I just bore witness to one of the stupidest campaigns in Social Media. The campaign against Pongal being a restricted holiday. Pongal/Sankranti was always a restricted holiday since I can remember. I studied in a Kendriya Vidyalaya and we followed the Gazetted Holiday list to the T. Hence I know the nuances behind the declaration of holidays as far as the Central Government institutions are concerned.

It was stunning to see people rake up this issue as something new and sudden and go bonkers over it. Well, it doesn’t make much sense. Pongal/Sankranti is being celebrated in a few states in India and it is fair to give such states the benefit of a holiday on that day. Sigh! If only people could think from their brains and not from their hearts.

Another issue that is being slowly raked up now (which was already burning till a few days back on Quora) is how Hindi is not our National Language and how one must avoid learning Hindi lest North Indians come and invade the Southern part of the peninsula.

I have no idea as to what is wrong in learning a new language? In a country as vast as India, that boasts of hundreds of languages and dialects, one would definitely need a common language to communicate and understand each other’s words. That language that weaves people from different linguistic backgrounds onto the same carpet could be anything- Tamil, Telugu, Hindi or Odiya. It could really be anything. How does that matter? Are we again going to formulate our theories based on quantitative aspects than on qualitative aspects?

People who say that this is a way to “preserve” and “conserve” their culture need to contemplate on something more crucial. Is it okay if people adopt to a certain language for the sake of it or is it important that they carry the pride when they adopt that particular language? The feeling on “apnapan” has to come from within and sadly, like many other things that concern the heart, it cannot be inculcated from outside.

The day people realise this and stop thinking from heart, we could hope for a better India. Else, this is going to be the routine every festival.

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