December 02, 2005

Thought for The DAY

Ella Nayinte Monum Oru Divasam Undu!

Yesterday was world Aids day. I have always wondered who decides that so-and-so date can be celebrated as so-and-so day, that today will be X's day and tomorrow will be Y's day. Every day is different and unique for every individual, you celebrate your birthday, birthdays of your relatives and close friends, marriage day etc and mourn the death days of your loved ones. Apart from that, people of a state, nation or religion or locality collectively celebrate special days, which would usually have a well-known history for the day being celebrated as so-and-so day. As a school child, I have come across many Children's Days and Gandhi Jayantis which were holidays. I was taught that these were birth or death dates of some of the famous national leaders. I could assimilate the logic then, for I knew that those people were really great to be honored like that. (As primary school child I was not taught history then, but only knew the name of these leaders).

But as I grew up, I came across so many other days for which I could not find out the reason behind the celebration. As youngster I came to know about Valentine's Day, Lover's Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day etc. I could not understand why one would love one's mother more on a day of the year if everybody else is doing so, I do not think people who were brought up in traditional Indian culture can assimilate the idea. But there are always people who are benefited and would like to promote the event, the media and Card companies being some. Extremist mindset towards these celebrations has lead to violent protests where people celebrating Valentine's Day have been harassed. I find many of these days stupid enough to ignore, but I cannot agree to these violent protests for it is one's wish if he/she would like to celebrate a day or not and no body else has a say in it unless it creates some disruption to their daily life.

I still find Mallus the most orthodox community among Indians. But even in Kerala, media houses like Malayala Manorama and Asianet have been trying to inculcate this habit of celebrating the days. They have been widely trying to market these days particularly among youth, through various varieties of promotions. And this has resulted in the present generation being more interested in this celebration culture, though they may not know why this day is selected for a particular celebration. I also belong to this group.

Apart from these two, there is a third type of day celebration that is becoming popular, which is generally aimed to create awareness among people about anything be it about Aids or environmental hazards. The World Aids Day belongs to this type. Whole world celebrated the World Aids Day, but I doubt how many know why December 1st was selected for the same. I wonder how many would be interested in finding this out (I for one, would not like to). But there was huge celebrations going on everywhere, every channel modified their icons to add that twisted red tag to them and competed in bringing home the best movie based on Aids to home. Music channels competed in telecasting the best music concerts held world wide, to create awareness about Aids prevention. I was watching one of these shows, where all the celebrations were happening in typical Bollywood style with men and women were performing on stage with barely any dress worn. I could not really get how this was going to increase the awareness about Aids, but I found this more as a promotion to the culture which spreads Aids. Nobody can be blamed, because there is no hard and fast rule on how to celebrate Aids day, and no one knows why this day is selected Aids Day!

Meanwhile my own state Kerala is celebrating an anti-ragging day, to create awareness against ragging among student community. Keralites are lucky that they are able to celebrate a day on everything, good or bad, happening world wide, often accompanied by a hartal. You will find Keralites celebrating in protest of capitalist policies of American Government, Central government policy against rebels and naxalites of Nepal etc. By the vigour with which media is promoting the second type of days (e.g.: Valentine's Day and Lover's Day) and the political parties promoting the third type (e.g.: Anti-ragging day), it is not far when people will spent whole 365 days of a year on the day-celebrations rather than doing anything else.

The proverb (the first sentence) will be more true then, Every Dog Has a Day!

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