It was the persistent efforts of one Aishwarya Parashar that revealed this amazing fact. Earlier this year in April, the 10-year-old had asked the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for a copy of the particular government order (GO) that specified the national holidays.
The PMO passed on her query to the Ministry of Home, which at first claimed that the matter does not pertain to it. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) should provide the answer, the Home Ministry averred.
Finally, the latter clarified on May 17 that it could not find any GO that notified Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti as national holidays.
Aishwarya was bemused by the reply because she has been taught in school that Jan 26, Aug 15 and Oct 2 are national holidays.
When she filed an appeal to find out the truth, the appellate authority not only confirmed that the Home Ministry's statement was correct but also requested the National Archives to provide the 10-year-old a copy of the GO if any exists.
A determined Aishwarya has since shot off letters to the President and the Prime Minister, demanding the GO. Now the onus is on both Pranab Mukherjee and Manmohan Singh to satisfy her curiosity.