The Narendra Modi Government has once again disregarded the Christmas Holiday in favour of observing what it calls ‘Good Governance Day’ to mark the birthday of BJP stalwart Atal Behari Vajpayee. This year, the Christmas Holiday, one of the most significant festivals of the Christian community, falls on a Sunday. The Chief Minister of Nagaland has said that the state should be exempted from holding any official function on Christmas Day.
Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang has said observing ‘Good Governance Day’ on December 25 would deeply hurt the religious sentiments of Christians as it coincides with Christmas.
Reacting to local news reports regarding the controversy about Centre’s decision to observe December 25 as ‘Good Governance Day’ throughout the country, Zeliang said he, along with other Chief Ministers of the northeastern region, had earlier this year vowed to oppose the decision.
The CMs of northeastern states had opposed the decision in a meeting with the Prime Minister on the ground that December 25 is celebrated throughout the world as the birthday of Jesus Christ and to observe a ‘Governance Day’ on that date, no matter how noble the intention, would deeply hurt the religious sentiments of Christians, he said.
“Though good governance is a constitutional right of the people, and though the date has been fixed to coincide with the birthday of the revered leader of the nation and former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, the day being Christmas Day (it) is inappropriate to hold any official function or occasion,” the CM said.
The Chief Minister had on December 12 written to the Prime Minister bringing to his notice the objections raised by various organisations in Nagaland against the declaration of December 25 as ‘Good Governance Day’.
Zeliang pointed out that the central government has been continuously observing Christmas as a national holiday ever since India’s Independence and even before that.
He said the ‘Good Governance Day’ could be observed on some other more convenient date, so as not to hurt the sentiments of the minority Christian community in India.
“In the event that changing of date is not possible, Nagaland state may be exempted from the obligation to organise any such official function on 25th December,” the Chief Minister requested to the PM.