I wonder why there was hardly any newspaper editorial or television show that depicted the importance of labour-day. Labourers constitute a major part of any successful society, whose presence, value and quality of work account greatly to the progressiveness of the society. I wonder if we have become so busy commercializing events and festivals that we forget to even acknowledge days like these?
It is interesting, how events and festivals, as they became popular, tend to lose their meanings. Diwali, for example, today is neither seen as a harvest festival nor as a religious one signifying Rama’s return to Ayodhya or Lakshmi’s emergence during the churning of the ocean. Today the lovely act of lighting diyas is a minor formality. The big focus is on Diwali Special Sale in shops, gifting of expensive dry fruits and sweets hampers, and of course the bursting of fire-crackers worth lakhs, no matter if it disturbs the 78 year old couple living next door.
Christmas is a global example of festivals losing their real meaning. Jesus Christ, evidently, was a Palestinian, hopefully with a Palestinian skin tan and black hair. But devotional photographs make him look like a Scandinavian with blue eyes and blonde hair. His birthplace could never have seen snowfalls. Yet Christmas is full of snows and handsome-Jesus and reindeer and stuff, simply because they make greater marketing sense! Santa Claus, who is at the centre of it all, is the ultimate fluke. The modern version of Santa was invented by Coca-Cola to publicize their product. Thanks to Santa, Christmas today alone sells more gift than all other festivals of the world put together.
We have even manufactured some modern-day festivals out of sheer imagination with the prime idea of selling merchandise. Whoever invented Mother’s Day and Father’s Day was a marketing genius! The greeting card and gift business is worth billions. Valentine’s Day marks the maximum sale of greeting cards and chocolates across the world. After all, it successfully commercializes one of the most beautiful ‘feelings’ known to man.
This article was written out of agony. Anyways, we will continue to wait eagerly for the next festival or event we can waste our money on, and buy happiness. After all, we are the consumed consumers of the world. Labour-day, the day dedicated to the millions of hard working people of the world, who built our homes, manufactured our air-conditioners, assembled our cars and built our cities, hardly matter to us.