Last night viz Dec 31st, I returned late from office and during the course of my ride back home saw temples organising pujas and aartis on the occasion of Jan 1st. I heard that there are also midnight abhishekas in some temples. At the same time, there were a number of youngsters – boys and girls moving around in bikes and of course by the time I hit bed which was about midnight, I heard as usual the sound of crackers and the screams of “Happy New Year” !
It left me wondering about what makes this such a popular event in Bharat. It is possibly the most celebrated event in the country with the exception of Diwali. Most activists who complain about pollution during Deepavali and Ganesh Utsavs are somehow very silent during this event when thousands of plastic greeting cards are printed and distributed & liquor flows like rivers.
Romans introducted Jan 1st as the new year after the introduction of the month January. It was much later accepted by the Christian countries and they introduced the celebrations as the day of circumcision of Christ. The growing popularity of Jan 1st as the new year and Valentine’s Day as a day of love in Bharat seem to have some deeper dimensions and possibly reflects the state of the society . Have these celebrations days acquired popularity because they cater to the basic instincts of society ? For example unlike on Ugadi, you are free to drink and scream on Jan 1st and it is treated as an accepted practise ? The same goes for Valentine’s Day vs. Baisakhi and some other recently acquired “Days”…
Is this a reflection of the state of society falling prey to a marketing extravaganza Or am I seeing too much into it ?