West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday questioned why is there no ‘national’ holiday for Christmas.
Why Jesus Christ’s birthday can’t be a national holiday? Why BJP govt has withdrawn it? Everybody has sentiments. What harm have Christians done? Is there secularism in India? I am sorry to say, a typical religious hatred politics is going on: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee pic.twitter.com/psY2NFHbX4— ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2020
Banerjee wondered why Jesus Christ’s birthday is not a ‘national holiday’. “What harm have Christians done?” she asked as she accused the BJP of doing ‘religious hatred politics’. However, Banerjee ended up misleading people.
Christmas is a gazetted holiday in India.
According to the national portal of India, 25th December, i.e. Christmas, is a gazetted holiday. A gazetted holiday is a mandatory holiday and must be observed by schools, colleges, government offices and banks.
Further, no other religious festival has a national holiday, not just Christmas. Diwali, Eid, Buddha Purnima and other religious festivals are all gazetted holidays.
There are only three national holidays in India: Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2nd October). However, a 2012 report on RTI query regarding the same stated that there is no such record announcing these three dates being the national holiday. Despite this, these three days are widely believed to be national holidays in India. Festivals fall under the ‘public holiday’ criteria.