‘This article is being written to create social awareness about the Bharatiya Solar (Saur) calendar. It was accepted by the Government of Bharat on Chaitra Pratipada, 1879 (March 22, 1957). However, it has still not been accepted everywhere. This is being written so that at least the elderly people are aware about the existence of this calendar.
1. The calendar created by studying 60 different Panchang (calendars)
In 1947 Bharat was liberated from the British and being an independent country started the making of national emblems with full vigour. example national flag, national anthem etc. It is from thereon that the concept of an independent national calendar came into being. On the advice of the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bharat’s scientific and industrial societies set up the ‘Calendar Reform Committee’ in November 1952 to study this subject. The renowned physicist Dr. Meghnath Saha was the Chairman of this committee. The Committee was entrusted with the task of creating an accurate calendar for the whole of Bharat based on scientific principles, using all the calendars in use in Bharat at that time. Accordingly, all calendar makers in the country and the public were appealed to put forth their views on this issue. The committee procured 60 calendars. They studied all of them and created the official calendar for Bharat the beginning of the solar year being March 22, the summer equinox. Every day the sun tilts eastwards 1 fraction and completes a rotation in a year. As the sun is stationary this is called the illusory movement of the sun. As the earth rotates about its axis from west to east it appears that the sun has risen or set.
2. The first day of every quarter
As on March 22 (summer equinox) the sun is at the equator, there is equal day and night. Then it moves northwards and reaches the Tropic of Cancer on June 22. Again it starts moving southwards. On September 23 as the sun reaches the equator again there is equal day and night. Completing its southward sojourn on December 22 (winter equinox) it reaches the Tropic of Capricorn. Once again it starts moving northwards and on March 22 reaches the equator. This is the period of 1 year. Deciding the first day associated with this imaginary rotation in every quarter, this calendar has been linked to astronomical events.
3. Some Government decisions regarding the solar calendar
365 days are distribued to the five months of Vaishakh, Jyeshtha, Ashadh, Shravan and Bhadrapad at the rate of 31 days each (31 x 5 = 155). The seven successive months of Ashwin, Kartik, Agrahayan, Paush, Magh, Phalgun and Chaitra have 30 days each (30 x 7 = 210). In the leap year Chaitra will have 31 days instead of 30 days thus increasing the total number of days in a year to 366. The Government accepted this calendar created by the Calendar Reform Committee from Chaitra 1, 1879 i.e. March 22, 1957 and took the resolutions given further.
A. Along with the English calendar date, the date as per the Bharatiya solar calendar will be published on the gazette of Bharat.
B. On ‘All India Radio or Doordarshan’ during the news bulletin in regional languages along with the English calendar date the new Bharatiya solar calendar date will be mentioned.
C. On the Government calendar along with the English calendar date the Bharatiya solar date will be displayed. The Bharatiya solar date (national date) is read as follows.
Example : January 1, 2018 would be Paush 11, 1940
During communication, contract/pact signing with other countries the document will be valid only if the Bharatiya solar date is mentioned. Besides the Reserve Bank of India has issued a circular to all banks to accept all cheques with these dates. If each one of us decides to use this solar calendar then we feel that it can reach maximum people.’
4. Months from the solar calendar
Chaitra -Vaishakh months in Marathi are found in all calendars. Excluding Margashirsh the names of the rest of the months are the same. Margashirsh is instead named as Agrahayan.
Important dates in the calendar as per the solar calendar
March 22 – Chaitra Pratipada – the sun is on the equator.
June 22 – Ashadh Pratipada –the beginning of dakshinayan (movement of sun towards the south pole. Sun is at north pole)
September 23 – Ashwin Pratipada, the sun is on the equator
December 22 – Paush Pratipada – beginning of uttarayan (movement of sun towards the north pole. the sun is at the south pole)
5. Seasons (rutu) from the solar calendar
The following seasons are seen in the solar calendar.
1. Vasant rutu (spring) – Phalgun-Chaitra
2. Grishma rutu (summer) – Vaishakh-Jyeshtha
3. Varsha rutu (rain) – Ashadh-Shravan
4. Sharad rutu (autumn) – Bhadrapad-Ashwin
5. Hemant rutu – Kartik-Margashirsh(new name is Agrahayan)
6. Shisihir rutu (winter) – Paush-Magh