I was in Yamunanagar in Haryana to visit my relatives from September 16 to 19. On September 17, the maid servant told the family, I was staying with, that she won't come to the house to clean it because she will be celebrating the festival of Bhagawan Valmiki's Birthday on September 18. On being told, that Valmiki is revered as a Maharishi and not Bhagwan, she retorted that the leaders of Valmiki Samaj have asked the community to address Valmiki as Bhagwan Valmiki.
She also revealed that Valmiki community has been asked to contribute liberally to build a grand temple dedicated to Bhagawan Valmiki. This year, the community will be taking out processions for two days to express its solidarity, she informed. In Haryana, the day is known as ? Bhagawan Valmiki Pragat Diwas? and is a public holiday.
The community has been made aware that Valmiki was born in the Teretayuga as a form of Vishnu and people should worship him as God. The Valmiki community in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat now worship Valmiki as their ancestor and as a God.
Valmiki is also regarded as the harbinger-poet or 'Adi Kavi' in Sanskrit literature who invented 'shloka' or first verse or epic metre which defined the most important form to Sanskrit poetry.
This festival also has a great religious significance for Hindus too since Vaklmiki holds a significant position in mythology as the author of Ramayana, the famous epic. This religious significance lends even more importance to the celebration of the festival.