Tableaux politics.

Rajnath ends tableau politics; writes to Mamata and Stalin on rejections

Bengal to use Netaji tableau in state Republic Day parade

Agency Report | New Delhi/Kolkata | 18 January, 2022 | 11:10 PM

Putting an end to the politics of tableau ahead of the Republic day parade, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu counterpart M.K. Stalin explaining the reasons for the rejection of their state tableaux.

Politics of tableau heated up after the Centre rejected the proposals of Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu tableaux in the Republic Day parade. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention after the Centre rejected her state’s Republic Day tableaux on Subhas Chandra Bose.

In his letter to both the leaders, Rajnath Singh stated that of the 29 proposals from states and union territories, 12 were accepted.

Singh said: “I would like to bring to your kind attention that there exists a well established system for selection of tableaux for participation in the Republic Day Parade, as per which Ministry of Defence invites proposals for tableaux from all States/UTs and Central Ministries/Departments.”

The minister said that tableaux proposals received from various States/UTs and Central Ministries/Departments are evaluated in a series of meetings of the Expert Committee comprising eminent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography etc.

“The Expert Committee examines the proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and its visual impact before making its recommendations. As per the time slot allotted for tableaux in overall duration of the parade, short listing of tableaux is done by the Expert Committee.”

He told Banerjee that West Bengal tableaux were part of 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021 parades.

He also said that the government has celebrated 2018 Republic Day in honour of Subhas Chandra Bose and this year also the Republic Day celebrations will begin from January 23 marking his 125th birth anniversary.

To Stalin, Singh explained, “The tableaux from the State Government of Tamil Nadu was considered in the first three rounds of meetings. After the third round of meeting, the tableaux could not make it to the final list of 12 selected for participation in the RDP-2022.”

Singh told Stalin that Tamil Nadu had representation in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Republic Day parades.

After the Centre rejected its tableau for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, the West Bengal government has decided to showcase the same tableau commemorating the contributions of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his INA on his 125th birth anniversary in the state Republic Day programme at Red Road.

The state’s programme will be a curtailed one of 30 minutes duration because of the Covid-19 pandemic situation. According to senior officials of the state home department, Netaji is going to be the central theme in the state’s Republic Day function. Tableaux of Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Airforce and Kolkata Police will also be showcased at the Red Road function, which will be graced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The rejection of the tableau by the Centre has been in the center of political debate for the last few days. Expressing shock over the Centre’s rejection of the proposed tableau of the Bengal government from the ensuing Republic Day parade, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to reconsider the decision and include the tableau of freedom fighters from Bengal in the parade.

This is not the first time but there are several instances when the tableaux were rejected by the Centre. In 2020, the tableau designed by chief minister Mamata Banerjee on ‘Kanyashree’ project -a pet project of the chief minister to provide financial assistance to the girl students was rejected by the Centre.

Senior officials of the state government claimed that the state’s proposals of tableau for the Republic Day were rejected by the Centre several times. Though the state has bagged two first prizes one in 2014 for its theme on ‘Chau Dance of Purulia’ and one in 2016 for the theme on Baul artists of Bengal but the state’s initiative ‘Kanyashree’ and ‘Ektai Sampriti’ (Unity is Brotherhood) was rejected by the Centre in 2015 and 2018 respectively.

After the rejection of ‘Ekatai Sampriti’ theme in 2018, Mamata Banerjee raised the theme on a public platform and had alleged that the theme was on unity and it wanted to highlight the harmony among the people but the Centre by rejecting the theme insulted the people of Bengal. She had also alleged that though ‘Kanyashree’ won accolades from the United Nations but the theme was rejected by the Centre.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Tathagata Roy on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow Bengal’s tableau on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to feature in the Republic Day parade in the national capital, a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a similar appeal to the PM. (IANS)