The Christian communities of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu are reportedly unhappy after the district administration scrapped the public holiday for Good Friday for the first time ever, according to The Indian Express.
An official notification of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH) moved the national holiday from Schedule 1 of Public Holidays (Gazetted) to the schedule 2 restricted holiday category.
Good Friday has always been observed as a public holiday since the territory became a part of the Indian Union due to the large number of Portuguese people living there, reported The Indian Express. There are seven churches in DNH and four in Daman and Diu.
DNH priest Father Tony Lopes told The Indian Express that the congregation is unhappy about the government decision. “This has happened for the first time in the history,” he said. He added that there were approximately one lakh Christians in DNH and Daman and Diu.
Priests and other community leaders are trying to convince the District Collector to reconsider the decision. “We have requested the District Collector to review the list and make changes and put Good Friday back in the list of public holidays in DNH,” Christian community leader Malcolm Ferreira told The Indian Express.
However, the DNH District Collector Kannan Gopinathan said that he was not aware of any notification cancelling the public holiday. Praful Patel, the administrator of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, also said he was unaware of the government notification.
President of Indian Christian Voice Dr Abraham Mathai condemned the cancellation of the holiday, calling it “unacceptable and unjustifiable”.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)