To keep the people happy, Romans gave them bread and circus. The Uttar Pradesh government gives holidays. Not just any holiday — but ones that confirm religion and caste, never mind the Supreme Court ban on caste politics.
Since March 2012, the SP government has declared four brand new holidays — the latest being on December 23 in the honour of Chaudhary Charan Singh, supposedly to cool off the rising Jat tempers after the recent Muzaffarnagar riots.
The other three were on April 5, Nishadraj Jayanti, May 17 for Ajmer Urs and October 29, Valmiki Jayanti.
Applications seeking holidays on the birthdays of Subhash Chandra Bose, dalit icon Jyotiba Phule, Kshatriya warrior Maharana Pratap, Indore queen Ahilyabai Holkar and the urs of Maulana Hazrat Hashmi are pending.
On the other hand, those on the bad books of the government had had their holidays pushed to the “restricted section”, or worse, scrapped. Already, BSP founder Kanshiram and Dr BR Ambedkar have had their names struck off the holiday list.
“This government is indulging in holiday politics,” said a grumpy BSP leader.