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Breaking a near-month silence, Papa Hari returned to the world stage with a bang and delighted all his fans by reaffirming his faith in January 1st being the first day and December 31st being the last day of every year under the Gregorian Calendar. In a related statement, he also assured that all holidays (national or religious) declared by the respective governments would remain valid under this scheme of things.
Speaking to reporters during a video press-conference from an undisclosed location, Papa Hari reiterated his faith in January 1st and December 31st as the first and last days and further added that it would be a "tragedy" if this was not taken in the right spirit. Papa Hari Fan Club members from all over the world celebrated the declaration with fireworks and distributed sweets amongst their friends and relatives. Asked for comment, the leader of the Papa Hari Fan Club, Papa Hari stated that it was indeed a great honour to be the first one to receive the news of Papa Hari's declaration. When it was pointed out that he was the one who made the declaration, Papa Hari agreed that it was implicit in what he said. On behalf of all his fans, Papa Hari thanked Papa Hari for this important message of clarification which would lead to greater understanding among nations and an atmosphere of international harmony and co-operation.
When contacted for their views, many world leaders welcomed the announcement and said that it was a refreshing change for a person of Papa Hari's stature and importance to come out boldly with his stance on such a fundamental issue. US President Bush also complimented Papa Hari on being a "personality" and stated that Papa Hari was an important ally in the war against terror. "I compliment Papa Hari's personality," he added further. Other leaders were satisfied that Papa Hari had said the right thing at the right time and hoped that this declaration would clear all confusion in this regard.
"Not many leaders come out with such statements every day," said outgoing British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, "He has maintained the status quo and we are grateful for his reassurance on the subject. The Calendar is the most important part of our lives." Others were less forthcoming in their praise for Papa Hari, but agreed that the statement assumed importance in the context of the war on terror. "Without a calendar, we cannot find out when a terrorist strike can be expected," said the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. He also added that "the peace process with Pakistan will also get disrupted because we cannot fix a date for fixing a date for agreeing to agree on the necessity for agreement with our neighbours." When contacted for his views, the Pope welcomed the spirit in which the message was made and hoped that "Papa Hari's statement would lead to religious peace and harmony in the world and understanding among nations." He also said that "peoples who follow other calendars need not be alarmed. Their right to choose their own system would not get affected by this message." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it was necessary to set up a committee of leading nations to consider the long-term implications of Papa Hari's statement and that he could not comment on the issue at the moment.
People from all parts of the world welcomed Papa Hari's statement and noted the fact that he had not tampered with their holidays. "It's so important. I'm glad we have a champion who stands up for our holidays," said Mr. Jo-Jo who works in a government office. A few critics (and cynics) were left wondering what the fuss was all about while some of them were concerned about the fate of other Calendars currently in use. However, many Papa Hari Fan Club members defended their hero by saying, "which other contemporary world leader has had the guts to make a statement of such magnitude which affects each and every one of our lives?" Papa Hari's media secretary later confirmed that the statement concerned only the Gregorian calendar and that people following other systems have no cause to be alarmed.
Posted on Wed, Jun 6, 2007 at 11:23 IST (last updated: Wed, Sep 26, 2007 @ 13:42 IST)