Mindless activism seems to have cost Tamils an extra holiday this year. Central Government offices have 14 closed (mandatory) holidays in a year which includes Republic Day, Independence Day and other religious holidays and 12 restricted (optional) holidays of which three are chose by the Central Government Employees Welfare Association.
Pongal in Tamil Nadu has been on the restricted list for many years except in 2016. Due to Gandhi Jayanti, a closed holiday falling on Sunday in 2016, Pongal was made a closed holiday for one year alone as compensation for the number of holidays. However, since Pongal falls on the second Saturday this month, a holiday for Central Government employees anyway, it was notified as an restricted holiday with Dussehra being notified as a closed in place. However, this was misinterpreted as Pongal being denotified as a closed holiday resulting in some outrage.
Union Minister of State Pon. Radhakrishnan of the BJP said that the government was not responsible and that people could appeal to the Employees Welfare Association. Anbumani Ramdass of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) stated that Pongal should have been on the closed list permanently because of the large number of people who celebrate it.
However, it seems that Pongal has now been notified as a closed holiday, in spite of it falling on the second Saturday of the month which is already a holiday, while Dussehra has been added as an restricted holiday, resulting in the loss of one holiday in 2017.