The information was released yesterday (Monday, 9th January) that Pongal festival is being removed from the list of public holidays for the year 2017.
It was informed that this decision was taken as Pongal is celebrated only in a few regions in the country. It was also mentioned that the employees who want to avail may take it. However, they have to intimated in advance and if the higher official refuses, the employee must attend duty on Pongal day.
There was a violent protest against this throughout Tamil Nadu. The state Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam wrote to the Prime Minister that the central government employees in Tamil Nadu will be hugely affected by this and also it transpired for the people from Tamil Nadu as though the central government has chosen to ignore the importance of the Pongal festival.
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu requested that Pongal holiday must be shifted from the list of 12 optional holidays to the list 14 compulsory holidays.
Consequently, the central government has decided to restore Pongal in the list of compulsory holidays. It was informed that in Tamil Nadu Pongal would be a holiday instead of Dussera,