Kerala’s tableau for the Republic Day parade has been rejected for the second consecutive year by the Centre.
The theme proposed by the state for its tableau was the state’s art and architecture, which would comprise the traditional art forms of Theyyam and Kalamandala. The tableau showed Kerala’s backwaters, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam dancers and percussionists playing the tradition instrument of Chenda (drums).
Kerala’s Law Minister AK Balan said that the decision to reject Kerala’s tableau is politically motivated. Kerala is the only state to pass a resolution in the state Assembly against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also said that the process won’t be implemented in the state.
“I don’t understand why there is hatred towards all Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Chenda (drums). Have you ever seen a central government who is against federalism in our country, who attacks the Malayali and who gets into a frenzy when it hears Kerala? One of the leaders even asked if Malayalis have two horns. So this is indicating the present state of our country. Does this have any politics? Why are they rejecting a visual which attempts to portray to the world the cultural essence of Kerala, allowing people to see, experience and derive joy out of it. What is the need for it? The committee had seen this tableau,” minister AK Balan said.
“This is such an unfortunate situation and this (rejecting tableau) is a continuation of it. We are not supposed to show backwater, elephant, boats, Mohiniyattam or Kathakali. What is this crazy situation we are going into!” he questioned.
Kerala's proposed tableau for 2020 Republic Day
He stated that the tableau was approved until the third stage, and was rejected in the fourth and fifth stages.
“Such a thing won’t happen without political intervention. Anyone with an aesthetic sense and who loves nature will not be able to do this,” he added. “Is the BJP in Kerala going to reap any benefits out of this? If they are trying to strengthen their party in the state, whatever little support that have will also be lost if this is the case,” Balan said.
The Defence Ministry said earlier this week that 22 proposals — 16 from states and union territories and six from central ministries — out of a total of 56 were short-listed for this Republic Day parade. It stated that it received 32 tableau proposals from states and union territories and 24 from central ministries and departments.
“Out of these, 22 proposals, comprising 16 states/UTs and 6 ministries/departments, have finally been short-listed for participation in the Republic Day Parade 2020 after a series of five meetings,” a statement by the ministry said.
The Ministry of Defence invites proposals from all states, union territories, central ministries and departments for tableaus. The proposals are then reportedly evaluated in a series of meetings of the Expert Committee comprising eminent persons in the fields of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography, etc. The Committee examines the proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and its visual impact before making its recommendations, the statement said.
The six Ministries and Departments, whose proposals made to the shortlist, are the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the Department of Financial Services, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Shipping.
The 16 states and UTs, whose tableau proposals have been accepted, are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Karnataka, MP, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and UP.
So far, the tableau proposals of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar have been rejected, for which the Centre has been slammed by opposition leaders.
The government was behaving in a prejudiced manner to states being ruled by non-BJP parties, NCP parliamentarian Supriya Sule earlier said.
Earlier, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) criticised the Centre over rejection of West Bengal's Republic Day tableau and called it discriminatory. "This is discriminatory. They (Centre) are trying to target us for opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed NRC," said Sougata Roy, senior TMC MP.
With PTI and IANS inputs