Lucknow: An application under the Right to Information Act has revealed that there is no formal order to declare Republic Day, Independence Day and birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 as national festivals.
In April this year, 10-year-old Aishwarya Parashar, a class VI student of CMS School, sent an application to the Prime Minister`s Office seeking a certified copy of the orders through which August 15, January 26 and October 2 have been declared as national festival.
The PMO forwarded the application to the Union Home Ministry, which in its reply on May 17, said that such an order was never issued.
The applicant made a second appeal on May 28 stating that she had read in textbooks that Republic Day, Independence Day and October 2 were national holidays and there might be some mistake in providing the information.
The second appeal was then forwarded to Department of Personnel and Training and was finally forwarded to the National Archives that if any document pertaining to declaration of national holiday existed it should be provided to the applicant.
In a reply sent on July 23, Assistant Director of Archives Jayaprabha Ravindran said that as per preliminary search some files related to declaration of January 26, August 15 and October 2 as public holidays were available.
"However, notification declaring these days as public holidays required extensive search among the published material in the custody of the National Archives of India. The applicant may visit the archives for a detailed research among the publication and cull out relevant information," the Assistant Director said.
The applicant has now sent a petition to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that she had been informed by the National Archives that though some files existed, but no government order was found.
Stating that she was deeply pained, Aishwarya has requested the President and PM to get an official order issued declaring August 15, October 2 and January 26 as national festivals.