New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor`s tweet suggesting that Gandhi Jayanti be a working day has sparked off much discussion and debate on the Internet.
"Why should Gandhi Jayanti, or for that matter the birth and death anniversary of any leader be a holiday? In all the fuss, the very reason for the holiday is lost. Most of my friends for instance saw Gandhi Jayanti as a good excuse to take short vacations to nearby hill stations," said Shavir Malik, an IT professional, on his blog.
Added Radhika Sharma: "Gandhi Jayanti made way to an extended weekend and most people took the opportunity to enjoy a short vacation. Except the politicians who made a beeline to Rajghat and gave speeches on TV, and a handful of people doing the same, the masses were honestly not bothered. This is definitely not a mark of respect for the father of the nation."
"Who doesn`t like holidays? We all do. But there are other ways of marking your respect," Sharma said in her blog.
Tharoor tweeted on the popular networking site Friday, saying: "Gandhiji said `Work is Workship` and we enjoy a holiday on his birthday."
Ujjwal Das, a high school teacher in Delhi, said: "A day before Gandhi Jayanti I used my class time for a discussion on whether Gandhi`s principles hold good in today`s world amongst my students, and it was very fruitful.
"Probably if Gandhi Jayanti is made a half working day and more such programmes can be arranged, Gandhiji will come alive to the youngsters from being just another chapter in their books."
However, not everyone agreed with this sentiment.
Said Nitasha Sharma, a research assistant at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore: "It`s good that occasions like Mahatma Gandhi`s birth and death anniversary are national holidays. At least people think about him on this pretext and remember all that he had said."
Tweeted Pinaki: "Let`s be honest about it. How many of us actually remember Gandhiji in our daily lives? At least a national holiday marked on our calendars on this day (Gandhi Jayanti) reminds us of him and (we) pay our tribute in whatever way."