Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan’s son Babil on Wednesday took to Instagram to express fear of not being afraid to post anything on social media against the ‘people in power’ as it may ruin his career. In a series of posts on his Instagram stories, Babil said that having a holiday for Raksha Bandhan and not having one for Eid is against the secular fabric of our nation.
Babil Khan claimed that he does not want to be judged by his religion and he is a human being just like rest of the Indians. Khan was upset that the mandatory holiday for Bakra Eid which falls on Friday is cancelled and Raksha Bandhan, which falls on Monday is a holiday. He claimed that secular India is having a relapse of ‘religious divide’ and is getting scary.
He claims his friends have stopped communicating with him because of his religion.
Amusingly, as per the Central government holiday list [pdf], while Eid ul-Adha (Bakri Eid) which falls on Friday, is a central government holiday but Raksha Bandhan is not one.
As one can see, out of the 14 compulsory holidays of Central government, 4 are Islamic festivals, 3 Eids and one Muharram. Only Diwali is the major Hindu festival which is a government holiday. Holi and other festivals fall under the ‘3 optional holidays’ one can avail. As one can see, Raksha Bandhan does not even fall in the list of optional holidays one can avail.
Since Babil was upset about the ‘people in power’ creating religious divide, and as one can see the central government is not doing so, one could assume he perhaps meant the Maharashtra government. The 2020 holiday list [pdf] for Maharashtra government also declares Bakri Eid as a government holiday. Except it is on 1st August, Saturday. As the date of festival of goat sacrifice varies depending on moon-sighting, it may appear unfair to blame government for declaring holiday on a day just because it falls on a weekend.
Raksha Bandhan is not a public holiday for Maharashtra state government either.
Further, the reason most states in India are celebrating Bakri Eid on 1st August, Saturday is because the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid said so.
Now, since neither the state nor the central governments have declared public holiday for Raksha Bandhan on Monday, it might appear unfair to blame governments for people who might take a holiday to celebrate their festival just because of their religion.
After these stories, many people reacted and sent him virtual hugs and expressed solidarity with his religion while lashing out on those who may eventually send him hate messages.
However, it is still not clear which people in power is he angry at for ‘cancelling’ a holiday that is not cancelled and giving out a holiday on a day when none is given.
Babil Khan is son of late Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan who recently lost his life after battling with a terminal illness. Islamists celebrated his death for his progressive views and called his untimely demise a ‘punishment in Ramzan’. Khan himself criticised practice of killing goat for ‘Qurbani’ on Eid, the non-existent ‘cancelled holiday’ his son is so worked up on.
In 2016, during an event in Jaipur, Irrfan Khan had stated that in today’s practises, the actual meaning of Qurbani (sacrifice) has been lost. He had added that purchasing a goat from the market and killing it after two days is not ‘Qurbani’. He had added that the essence of the Islamic festival is about giving up, sacrificing something that is important to oneself. In the show, Irrfan’s challenged the clerics about some of the rituals observed by Muslims during Ramzan and Muharram.