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Interesting : Sunday Wasn't a Holiday !

Mumbaikars who are used to Sunday as a day of rest would be surprised to know that this was not always the case in the metropolis. Sunday officially became an 'off day' in the 1840s and that too after a decade-long deliberation by the British government. This interesting incident from the city's past was revealed by historian Jim Massellos while delivering the Heras Memorial Lecture at St Xavier's College last week. Dwelling on modernity and the city, Massellos pointed out that there was general discussion on making Sunday a day of rest in Mumbai as was the case in Britain. 

However, there was division in the British India administration on the way to go about it. One group wanted to declare Sunday a holiday as it was based on the Christian tradition while there were others who also talked of the need to take into consideration the multi-religious nature of the Bombay region. Some government officials were concerned about the impact of the one day of rest on the wages of daily labourers; they would stand to lose four days' salary every month. It was later agreed that labourers would get half a day's pay for all holidays. 

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