Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday came down heavily on the central government for rejecting West Bengal’s tableau for the Republic Day parade in Delhi. Asserting that it was an insult to the people of Bengal, Mamata wondered whether West Bengal’s tableau was rejected because of its theme ‘There is harmony in unity’.
“Earlier it had rejected a tableau on Kanyashree scheme. This scheme was awarded by the United Nations in public services category. I am saying this with a heavy heart that this time also our tableau was rejected by the Centre for the Republic Day parade. I am sorry to say it is an insult to the people of Bengal. Every year we select a theme for our tableau. (Earlier) We had selected ‘Chhau Dance’ and ‘Baul Songs’ as themes, which had received the first prize. This year we had selected ‘There is harmony in unity’ as the theme. Was the tableau rejected because of its theme? asked Mamata while inaugurating the Christmas Carnival at Allen Park here.
“We were called for the expert committee’s meeting in September and also for another meeting in October and our proposal was appreciated there. We had also accepted all their suggestions, but we were not called for the next meetings,” PTI quoted Mamata as saying. The chief minister said that it was because Bengal had done “quite good in the Republic Day parades so we have the right to speak on this.” “Between 2013 and 2016 we received the first prize twice,” PTI quoted Mamata.
It is not the first time the central government rejected a tableau from West Bengal for Republic Day parade. In 2015, the Centre had rejected the state’s tableau on Kanyashree scheme, which is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at checking child marriage and retaining girls in schools and other educational institutions. However, in 2014 and 2016, tableaux from West Bengal were allowed to take part in the January 26 parade.
Meanwhile, without taking the name of BJP, the chief minister said some people were making attempts to divide people along religious lines. “Those who welcome all opinions and beliefs become great leaders. One has to show tolerance to become great. But some people are busy dividing Hindus, Muslims and Christians,” Mamata said.