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Manipur government’s announcement was making the Easter weekend working “for smooth functioning” during the last days of the financial year has triggered outrage.   

Easter, which is falling on March 31 this year, is an important Christian festival. Manipur, already reeling under violence over ethnic division between the Meitei’s and the Kuki’s has at least 40 per cent Christian population.

In a notification, Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey said March 30-31 will be working weekends for government offices, corporations, and autonomous bodies under state government for smooth functioning of offices in the last few days of the financial year (2023-24).

Reacting to Manipur government’s decision, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said he is shocked to learn about the decision while also adding that India is built on a system of mutual respect amongst religions and faiths. 

“I am shocked. As you know in our country, we’ve built a system of mutual respect amongst religions and faiths and particularly respect that people deserve for their special days according to their religious traditions. It is surprising and worrying,” he said.

Tharoor added that has come in the aftermath of a devastating year in Manipur where violence happened and hoped that the Centre intervenes to get the notification withdrawn as it hurt sentiment of one community. 

“It has come in the aftermath of a devastating year in Manipur where violence happened. Amid all this, to hurt sentiment of one community is a matter of grave concern. GoI should intervene and get this withdrawn,” he said.

An internet user claimed that by declaring Easter Sunday as a working day in Manipur, the is openly going against Christianity.

Vijay Thottathil (@vijaythottathil) in a post on X (formerly Twitter) wrote: “By declaring Easter Sunday as a working day in Manipur @BJP4India is openly going against Christianity! Will @BJP4Keralam or @surendranbjp answer this double standard? On one hand BJP is wooing Christians in Kerala to get their votes and on the other hand they are doing discrimination against Christians in #Manipur! People of Kerala will give a befitting reply to all BJP stooges in upcoming elections! #NoVoteForBJP”

While another user Rani Padma (@RaniPadmaK) called it a deliberate effort to create more unrest. 

“This is a deliberate effort to create more unrest in the already burning state….shame on BJP,” she posted.

Mary Grace Zou (@Justice4Kuki_Zo) reacted by saying that the decision seeming like “secularism have lost its face”.

“The Governor of Manipur pleased to declare Easter Sunday as a working day which is an important & significant day for the Christians not only in Manipur but across the world raises eyebrows of the intention of the Governor of Manipur. Looks like #secularism have lost its face,” she posted.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh belongs to the Meitei (Hindu) community.

Last year, Manipur experienced one of the worst ethnic clashes between the Meiteis and Kuki communities that killed hundreds of people and more than 50,000 people got displaced.

The clashes began when the Kuki tribal group clashed with a non-tribal group, the ethnic majority Meitei, over-sharing economic benefits and quotas given to the tribes.

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Published: 28 Mar 2024, 03:16 PM IST

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