Of Pitru Devo Bhava and Coolidge, for Dads

June 12, 2012 - All News

Special to Focus
According to Indian culture, mother is considered as the Goddess and so our ancient holy books proudly said, ‘Matru Devo Bhava’ (Mother is Goddess). That ancient verse  has added ‘Pitru Devo Bhava’ after mother as God.
Mother is always in the house and she literally pours good thoughts and ideals into the child’s mind right after the child’s birth. She shapes the child to be a highly cultured, good person. The father meanwhile tries to make a good, gentle man or woman for a good future, by inculcating ideals of creating a pillar of the family, for making the family, and the home a heaven.
Father plays a very important role in strengthening family values. That is why our ancient holy books proudly said ‘Pitru Devo Bhava’.
Let us bow our heads to our beloved father, not only on Father’s Day but every day, in the morning. After getting out of bed, we should daily bow our head to our lovely mother and our respected father. Both play equal role in making our life successful.
Father’s Day is now a day celebrated all over the world. This year Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17.
There are several stories behind Father’s Day. The first known celebration of Father’s Day was on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia, where it was commemorated at William Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South — now known as Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton is believed to have suggested it to her pastor after a deadly explosion in nearby Monograph in December, which killed 361 men.
It was also during a sermon in 1909 that Sonora Smart Dodd became inspired by the Mother’s Day celebration. After the death of her mother, Sonora and her siblings were raised by their father William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran, in a rural farm in eastern Washington State, all by himself.
Sonora wanted to show how thankful she was to her father for the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent by all the parental sacrifices  and, because William was born in June, she worked hard to have the first Father’s Day celebrated on June 19, 1910. Thus, her idea for creating a day for children to honour their fathers began in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910.
In 1924, President Coolidge recommended Father’s Day become a national holiday. President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day in 1966. It was not until 1972 that President Nixon instituted Father’s Day as a national observation on the third Sunday of June. So Father’s Day was born in memory and gratitude from a daughter who thought her father — and all good fathers — should be honored with a special day, just as we do our mothers on Mother’s Day. In various towns and cities across North America, people began to celebrate Father’s Day.
This Father’s Day, let us remember our father — as well as all the men who acted as a father, stepfather, uncle, grandfather, adult male friend — as a mark of honour and respect for their wonderful gift to us.
— Jay Gajjar is a Mississauga-based writer. This is his contribution to Father’s Day.