S. Harpal Singh

ADILABAD: Whether holidays, especially ‘second Saturday’ kind suit the needs of districts like Adilabad that are mired in backwardness? An innocuous question on a website related to these holidays puts a question mark on continuing with the tradition given the prevalent work culture in educational institutions and Government offices.

Some LPG consumers wanting to complain on March 8 about irregular supply of gas in town found the office of the Civil Supplies Department closed because of second Saturday being holiday. They now have to wait until Monday for their plea to be heard.

The origin of the second Saturday holiday tradition dates back to the days of East India Company.

The Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible says the Seventh Day or Saturday was the day for rest and worship after the six days it took God to create the World. Planet Saturn, from which the day’s name is derived, being the second largest, the second of Saturdays in a month was designated as a holiday.

There seems to be no other country that follows this tradition except perhaps Israel because the Jews observe Saturdays as the day of sabbath.

The Internet question seems to take a dig at authorities and the responses it evoked matched its spirit.

“I have never heard of this holiday tradition. Where do you live?”, asked a respondent while another person wondered, “Is this true? I don’t think so. In what country? I haven’t heard of this” and “Not in Canada or US so far as I know”, were some of the other responses to the question on the website ph.answers.yahoo.com.

Educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh have about 220 working days while Government offices have about 250 working days. Needless to say that the more the number of holidays in educational institutions, the greater the stress on students and teachers who have to complete the syllabus.

The situation worsens when some regular holiday precedes the second Saturday, like in the case this weekend. Because of Mahasivaratri festival the weekend was turned into a short vacation.