Recently, according to a news report by ANI, “Lakshadweep Education Department in an order (dated December 17) declared all Sundays as holidays for schools, with 6 working days; order to be effective from 2021-22 academic year.

Earlier, Fridays were holidays.”

Screengrab of the news report by ANI.

Though Sunday has never been a publicly declared holiday but it has been a commonly observed practice. Raman Sharma a Right to Information (RTI) activist in Jammu, sought information under RTI from the Prime Minister’s Office asking “Is there any official order/notification issued by any ministry/department of the government declaring Sunday as holiday?”

The department of Personnel and Training, Government of India in its reply dated 18th July, 2012 signed by B Bandopadhyay, under secretary stated, “As per records available in JCA section of Department of Personnel & Training, there is no information regarding declaration of Sunday as holiday.

However the reply gave reference of order no. 13/4/85-JCA dated 21st May, 1985 of Department of Personnel and Training which says that in order to improve the efficiency, “The Government of India are pleased to introduce 5-day week in the civil administration offices of the Government of India with effect from 03rd June, 1985. Such Government offices would now work for five days a week from Monday to Friday, with all Saturdays as closed.”Even this order does not officially declare Sunday as holiday.

In 1881 a social activist Narayan Meghaji Lokhande (colleague of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule) started a movement against British to declare Sunday as holiday. He wished Sunday to be declared as holiday to takecare of social problems around us. He continued the movement for 8 years until the British government declared Sunday as the holiday in 1889 . From that day onwards in India Sunday is holiday . Lokhande is acclaimed as the Father of the Trade Union Movement in India. He was awarded the title of Rao Bahudur by the British Raj.

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