The political row over the selection of tableaux for Republic Day celebrations escalated on Friday after Kerala became the fourth state to be excluded from the list this year. Previously, the Union Ministry of Defence had rejected the proposals of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar, prompting the Opposition to cry “vendetta politics”.
The government has selected 22 tableaux proposals — six by departments and ministries and 16 by states and Union Territories — for the Republic Day parade. The ruling TMC government in West Bengal has gone to the extent of alleging that the decision was an insult to the people of the state by the Modi government for protesting against the amended Citizenship law.
Tableaus of which states have been selected for the Republic Day parade?
For the 2020 Republic Day parade, whose chief guest will be Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the Defence Ministry has selected 22 tableaux proposals.
The states and departments included in the list are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, along with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Department of Financial Services, NDRF Ministry of Home Affairs, CPWD Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and Ministry of Shipping.
A total of 32 states and union territories, and 24 Ministries and Departments had sent their tableau proposals for the Republic Day 2020 parade.
Tableaux of which states have been rejected and why?
The tableau proposals of Kerala, Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar have been rejected, leading to an outcry from the governments of respective states.
In Maharashtra, leaders of the Shiv Sena and NCP alleged that the move smacked of vendetta by the Modi government. However, the BJP has denied that the decision to reject Maharashtra’s tableau was an act of vindictiveness.
In Bengal, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Tapas Roy said step-motherly treatment was being meted out to the state as it had opposed anti-people laws like CAA.
In a statement, the Defence Ministry said the West Bengal government’s proposal was rejected after an expert committee examined the same in two meetings. “It is pertinent to mention here that the tableau of the Government of West Bengal was shortlisted for participation in the Republic Day Parade 2019 as an outcome of the same process,” the Defence Ministry said.
Coming to Kerala, Jayaprabha Menon, a jury member, told mediapersons that there was nothing fresh in the tableau. “We have always seen the boat race, pulikali and others many times. There was nothing new in this year’s theme. There was no politics in a committee of artists, who decide the themes for the parade,” Menon told a television channel.
How are tableau proposals selected?
The selection process of tableaux for the Republic day parade is carried out by the Ministry of Defence. The selection process is an elaborate and time-consuming exercise. Firstly, the Ministry sets up an expert committee with distinguished people from various fields of arts to shortlist the proposals.
The expert committee consists of prominent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography, etc. After the tableaux proposals are received from various states and organizations, they are evaluated in a series of meetings of the expert committee.
In the first phase, the sketch or design of the proposals are scrutinised and suggestions are given to carry out modifications in it. Once the design is approved by the committee, the participants are asked to come up with 3D models of their proposals. However, this does not mean automatically guarantee the selection of the tableau proposal.
The 3D models are thereafter examined by the committee for final selection. Not more than one tableau from an organisation is selected for the parade.
What are the guidelines for tableau models and performers?
Writing or use of logos on tableaux is not allowed except the name of states or Union Territories that are presenting it on the day of the parade. There is also a pattern to where the names of the states should be written — in Hindi in the front, in English on the back and in regional language on the sides of the tableau.
In case of ministries and other agencies, the name of the department is to be given in Hindi in the front and in English on the back. The number of performers on the trailer will not be more than 10 persons. Moreover, artists performing on or along the tableau should be from the concerned state/UT only.