What Next After Surgical Strike Day? Declare Nov 9 DeMon Day


What Next After Surgical Strike Day? Declare Nov 9 DeMon Day

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Just seven days of the week have never been enough for humans. We can’t be expected to dread Mondays and celebrate Fridays forever. So we’ve came up with new days. Those who dream of buying Porsches call it “someday”. Others who dream of climbing Everest call it “one day”. A few others were invented by generous ad executives. There’s Father’s Day, which acted as an antidote to the Great Depression in the USA. There’s Friendship Day, Rose Day, Siblings Day, and even a whole month of Movember, during which shaving is frowned upon.

While advertising, pop culture and FOMO has capitalised on this trend of naming days, how could governments be left behind? Given that after the Constitution, the two things our various governments have held in high regard are PR and advertising, it’s only natural that they should jump on the bandwagon.

Thus were born days like Good Governance Day. Celebrated on December 25, the day commemorates Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who pulled off a feat rarer than an honest TV news channel interview — by being loved across party lines.

Then, more recently, our government declared September 29, “Surgical Strike Day,” a move that’s absurd on so many levels. For one, if news channels are to be believed (which is a big lmao at this point), surgical strikes have happened for decades; apparently, it’s a thing we do. So, one wonders what the sudden fuss is all about.

Even weirder is the idea that you should be asked to celebrate something. Isn’t celebration something you should feel naturally? Do you remember those family baby-showers we were dragged to by our mothers? A forced celebration is basically a punishment. So it’s hilarious that the University Grants Commission would ask all varsities in the country to celebrate surgical strike day. How exactly do they plan to do that when most students’ reflex actions involve rejecting what authorities say? An open bar?

More importantly, how are we supposed to celebrate such a day? Yes, of course, we’ll all listen to the anthem and put on clothes that best display our hyperbolic patriotism (boys and girls wearing different combinations of green, white, and orange). But surely a day so unique deserves a more unique celebration. Perhaps, students will spring a surprise on the teacher and pop-up from behind them for attendance. Maybe they’ll surprise the canteen guy by paying their dues, slowly creeping up on him and leaving the money on the table.

Hopefully, a few ideas have been listed in the circular, because if I was a student and I saw the order, I would have no idea how to celebrate it. You can’t just ask someone to celebrate something without showing them how it’s done. We sing Happy Birthday like someone died because that’s how we’ve seen it done. We play with fire on Diwali because that’s what everyone does. We throw water bullets at people on Holi because we’ve been hit by one at some point. Celebrations are a hand-me-down concept.

The launch of GST should be celebrated as National Confusion Day, since it’s a law nobody truly understands. Even economists are lying when they say they totally get it.

Meanwhile, one can’t help but wonder where this trend of naming days will go from here. The one day that is crying out for a celebration is November 9. But calling it something basic like “Demon Day” would be boring. We need a more evocative name — how about a “Stand-with-Siachen Day”, where we all stand in front of our ACs for 12 hours?

The launch of GST should be celebrated as National Confusion Day, since it’s a law nobody truly understands. Even economists are lying when they say they totally get it. Given the number of times it has morphed, we could even call it the “I-Changed-My-Mind Day”, the day we all leap from one idea to another by simply issuing a circular.

Given that our Opposition has run out of original ideas for governance, maybe they could start their days too. The ever-popular suit-boot jibe that Rahul Gandhi coined shows some promise. Perhaps a “Jibe Day”, where we exchange quips, in celebration of the PM-in-waiting.

Of course Rahul’s Parliament hug merits a day of its own too. The “Hug-Thy-Enemy Day” could be the day we spontaneously charge into everyone who has criticised, name-called, and shamed us, just to show that our PR person has a bigger heart than your PR person. Then following the day’s festivities, we all wink madly at each other.

I’m clearly all for new days, and all for celebrations, I just find it odd to be told what to celebrate. I’m already being told what I should be saying online, what I should be eating, whom I should sleep with, and whatnot. So, hey politicians, maybe leave the celebrations alone.