IN A double blow to the City Beautiful, not only did it fail to make it to the first 20 smart cities list, the Chandigarh tableau also failed to make an impression at the Republic Day parade.
A total of 23 tableaux, including six from union ministries, took part in this year’s Republic Day Parade. The winners will be awarded on January 31 in a function to be held in Delhi. Chandigarh is not among them.
The city’s tableau aimed at highlighting Le Corbusier’s architecture, Chandigarh’s enviable verdant parks and other green areas and its smart city aspirations, but turned out to be unimposing, failing to reflect any of these aspects. Replicas of the Capitol Complex did not capture the majesty of the buildings. Even the city’s welcoming Open Hand symbol failed to lift the float. The judges were evidently unmoved by elements such as people doing exercises and yoga and a man reading newspaper.
The tableau was conceptualised by the department of tourism and Bheem Sain Malhotra, assistant professor-in-art in Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA). It was built by a Kolkata-based company that had also made the first three prize-winning tableaux. The administration spent around Rs 15 lakh on it.
Malhotra said architecture is a subject that was “not understood by everyone and those having no knowledge of the subject find it boring.” Director (Tourism) Jatinder Yadav said they had worked hard on the tableau.
The West Bengal tableau depicting Baul folk singers bagged the top position, followed by Tripura’s with Unakoti sculptures at second place. The third spot was secured by the Assam tableau, which showcased the popular Rongali Bihu festival.
This is the fourth time that tableau of Chandigarh participated in the Republic Day function. On two occasions, the Rock Garden was the theme of