As we all know that Sunday is a holiday. But officially, we had no records or any letter from the government that proves that Sunday is officially a holiday.
Raman Sharma a Right to Information (RTI) activist in Jammu, sought information under RTI from the Prime Minister’s Office asking “Is there any official order/notification issued by any ministry/department of the government declaring Sunday as the holiday?”
The Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India in its reply dated 18th July 2012 signed by B Bandopadhyay, undersecretary stated, “As per records available in JCA section of Department of Personnel & Training, there is no information regarding declaration of Sunday as the holiday.”
However, the reply gave reference to order no. 13/4/85-JCA dated 21st May 1985 of Department of Personnel and Training which says that in order to improve the efficiency, “The Government of India are pleased to introduce 5-day week in the civil administration offices of the Government of India with effect from 03rd June 1985. Such Government offices would now work for five days a week from Monday to Friday, with all Saturdays as closed.”
Even this order does not officially declare Sunday as the holiday.
- Sunday officially became an ‘off day’ in the 1840s and that too after a decade-long deliberation by the British government. This interesting incident from the city’s past was revealed by historian Jim Massellos while delivering the Heras Memorial Lecture at St Xavier’s College last week.
- Dwelling on modernity and the city, Massellos pointed out that there was the general discussion on making Sunday a day of rest in Mumbai as was the case in Britain.
- However, there was division in the British India administration on the way to go about it. One group wanted to declare Sunday a holiday as it was based on the Christian tradition while there were others who also talked of the need to take into consideration the multi-religious nature of the Bombay region.
- Some government officials were concerned about the impact of the one day of rest on the wages of daily labourers; they would stand to lose four days’ salary every month. It was later agreed that labourers would get half a day’s pay for all