Home » A row over exclusion of floats at R Day parade at Rajpath

A row over exclusion of floats at R Day parade at Rajpath

by Raju Vernekar
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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Jan 18:

While 21 out of 56 tableaux of states and central ministries are likely to be selected for the Republic Day parade at Rajpath, the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, whose tableaux have been rejected have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter.
“The Central government’s decision to deny permission to the Kerala’s Republic Day tableau, which contained anti-caste crusader Narayana Guru’s figure, is extremely condemnable. @BJP4Keralam must state whether they agree with this insulting attitude towards Kerala’s Guru,” V Sivankutty, Kerala’s Education Minister, said in a tweet.
However the Union government has slammed three opposition states for alleging that the exclusion of their tableaux from the Republic Day parade was an insult, saying it is a wrong precedent, and stressed that it is not the Centre but an expert committee that makes the shortlist. The proposals of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were rejected by the subject expert committee after due process and deliberations.
Delhi Government’s tableaux with the theme ‘Delhi-City of Hopes’ is also unlikely to pass final selection this year. In 2020, too, there was no tableau of Delhi in the Republic Day parade. However last year (2021), Delhi’s tableau had participated in the parade on Rajpath where the city government had displayed its Chandni Chowk Redevelopment model to portray the amalgamation of architectural heritage of the Walled City of Shahjahanabad with modern infrastructure.
Maharashtra Government’s tableaux depicting biodiversity has been rejected this year. Similarly the tableaux of Bihar is unlikely to figure in the list of the selected tableaux.
West Bengal
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed shock over the exclusion of West Bengal’s tableau, which focussed on Subhash Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary year, and said such a move would cause “pain” to the people of her state. The exclusion of the tableau, which also featured other icons like Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, “amounts to belittling and undermining the freedom fighters”, she added. Her Trinamool Congress party accused the BJP-led central government of “repeatedly” and “systematically” insulting “our history, culture and pride”.
Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister M K Staling termed it as a “matter of grave concern to Tamil Nadu and its people. He sought the prime minister’s “urgent intervention to arrange to include the tableau of Tamil Nadu” that will showcase the freedom fighters of the state in the Republic Day parade 2022 in New Delhi.
“The rejection of Tamil Nadu’s tableau, that included freedom fighters VOC, Mahakavi Bharathiyar, Rani Velu Nachiyar and Maruthu Brothers, from the Republic Day Parade is disappointing. Tamil Nadu CM said that the state submitted sketches choosing the theme “Tamil Nadu in the Freedom Struggle” depicting the renowned freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu. 
However according to official sources, the rotation method is chosen so that different states get representation. It should be, noted that the tableau proposals of Kerala were accepted through the same process and system under the same Modi government in 2018 and 2021, and those of Tamil Nadu in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021. The tableau proposals of West Bengal were accepted in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021.
Similarly the tableaux from Maharashtra were selected and had won the first prize in 1980, 1983, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2015 and 2018. In 2019 Maharashtra presented the tableaux based on the 150 th Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti and Quit India movement. Maharashtra tableau did not make it to the parade in 1972, 1987, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2016 and 2020.

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