Supposedly, a day filled with festivities in parts of the country ended just like another day. April 14th is a significant day for people of Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North East. One thing in common for most of these people is the crop harvest. Pongal or Sankranti is also a harvest festival celebrated by South Indian states, but that’s for Kharif season harvest.
Whereas today, celebrated by Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu is for the Rabi Crop harvest. Apart from being the harvest festival, traditionally this day is also celebrated as New Year Day.
1. Tamil Nadu celebrates today as Puthundu, the first day of the Tamil New Year.
2. Kerala celebrates today as Vishu, the first day of Kerala New Year.
3. (Punjab) Sikhs celebrated 13th as Baisakhi or Vaisakhi, the first day of Sikh New Year.
4. Assam celebrates today as Bihu, a festival to thank gods for Crop Harvest.
Wondering why the harvest festivals are celebrated as New Year Day and Sankranti is not celebrated as New Year Day? We need to look at it from an astrological point of view. As per astrology today, i.e April 14th, Sun transits into Mesha Rashi (Aries) – the first zodiac sign in the 12 signs, marking a new journey of movement of Sun. Thus, today is celebrated as New Year Day by majorly by Tamilians and Malayalis. There are regionally stories behind the celebrations and Hindus pray Lord Vishnu with a lot of enthusiasm for a good harvest. Punjabis visit Gurudwaras and pray Guru Nanakji with a lot of fervour and intense happiness.
All in all, it is celebrated as a Harvest Festival and in a way, we can say that this is a festival for farmers. A festival that thanks God for good harvest hasn’t been the same this year. But this year the festivities were missing due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. Farmers are in distress, their crops are not being harvested properly. Labour requirement is of immense importance for crop harvesting and there is a shortfall in that. Both labour shortages and logistical issues have pulled down the hopes of farmers.
A very typical issue our farmers are facing today.
Unlike Loan waiver, MSP etc. problem is unexpected. Never one would have thought of labour problems in a country like India but that’s the truth today. PM Modi called for an extension of lockdown today till 3rd of May and the economy will see a major decline. Economic researches are reporting a fall more than the 2008 crisis. IMF a few hours ago has projected a 3% contraction in growth. We will rebuild our economy in future, but for that to happen we need manpower. Which is why we need to keep ourselves away from home and that’s only possible by staying at the home.
Let’s stay at home and do all those things we wanted to do in our daily routine but couldn’t due to ‘lack of time’. Now is the time, you have 19 days starting tomorrow. Plan well and execute well. Watch good movies, play indoor games, cook often, read books and I suggest write as much as you can.
Hopefully, May 3rd will be the last day of lockdown in most parts of India. We will re-grow, grow as the fastest economy and lead the world in a better standard of healthy living.