December 6, 2022

No political bias, R-Day tableaux picked by ‘apolitical panel’: Govt | India News – Times of India

NEW DLEHI: The government on Monday rejected the charge that exclusion of tableaux of a few states from this year’s Republic Day Parade had to do with ‘political bias’ and deplored the efforts by some CMs to link the decision taken by a committee of ‘apolitical experts’ to regional pride.
The government’s assertion came soon after Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin joined West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in seeking PM Modi’s intervention over the rejection of the tableaux of their states. Senior government sources emphasised that the Centre had no role to play in the call taken by the experts.
“We have recently seen letters being written by state CMs about the exclusion of the tableaux of their states. This is projected as an insult to the people of the state by the Central government. This script also plays out almost every year,” a source said.
In their response coinciding with Left parties also faulting exclusion of tableaux of West Bengal and Kerala besides Tamil Nadu, sources frowned upon what they called the “wrong precedent” set by the CMs to frame an apolitical exercise as a flashpoint between the Centre and states. It is not the Modi Government that decides on the tableaux as the proposals received from various states and ministries are evaluated in a series of meetings of the expert committee comprising eminent people from art, culture, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography and other related fields, sources said.
“The expert committee examines the proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and visual impact before making its recommendations,” a source said. CPI leader D Raja alleged that the Kerala government’s theme was rejected as it featured a statue of Sree Narayana Guru and the selection panel wanted it to be replaced with one of Adi Sankaracharya. “The jury is appointed by the defence ministry. Is it not an attack on federalism as well as on India’s diverse culture and history?” he asked.
He added that Bengal’s tableau on Subhas Chandra Bose and Tamil Nadu’s tableau on Bharathiyar (Subramania Bharathi), VO Chidambaranar Pillai and Rani Velu Nachchiyar were also rejected.
Official sources claimed that given the constraint that the parade had to wound up within a time-frame, proposals of all states cannot be accommodated. This year, 21 of the 56 proposals were accepted due to time constraints. “It is natural for more proposals to be rejected than those accepted given the paucity of time,” said the source. “Perhaps, some of the CMs and political parties don’t have positive agenda of their own and resort to the same trick again and again,” said a source.
“It should be noted that the tableaux proposals of Kerala were accepted through the same process in 2018 and 2021. It should be also noted that proposals of West Bengal were accepted under the same Modi government in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021. Furthermore, this year’s tableau of CPWD includes Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, so the question of his insult does not even arise,” a source said rejecting charges of discrimination.
With inputs from Swati Mathur

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