9 Jan 2020

Tableau for Republic Day

Source: The Hindu

Manifest pedagogy: Republic Day is a vibrant display of India’s military might and culture. It is also a platform to deepen ties with friendly countries and showcase India to the world. However, issues such as participation of various states and other functionaries are a matter of concern this year.

In news: Tableau have been shortlisted for Republic Day parade

Static dimensions:

  • Republic Day parade
  • Selection process of tableau 

Current dimensions:

  • Shortlisted tableau for 2020
  • Rejections of this year and politics associated with it 

Content: Opposition is crying “vendetta politics” as the Union Ministry of Defence has rejected the Republic Day tableau proposals of West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar and Kerala.

Shortlisted tableau for 2020: Ministry of Defence has selected 22 tableau out of 56 proposals for the Republic Day parade, 2020. The short-listed proposals for tableaux include 16 states and union territories and six central ministries.

Selection process:

  • The Ministry of Defence invites proposals for tableaux for the Republic Day Parade every year from all states and Union Territories, along with central ministries/departments Union ministries.
  • The ministry also provides a broad list of suggestive themes which include important episodes from the state/UT’s history, local festivals, cultural or architectural heritage, important social and economic development schemes, environment etc..
  • Once the ministry receives the proposals, they are evaluated in a series of meetings by an expert committee comprising eminent persons from different walks of life.

There are two rounds of selection:

  • In the first stage, the sketch/design of the proposals are scrutinised and suggestions given to carry out modifications.
  • If the sketch/design is approved by the committee, a participant is asked to come up with a 3D model of the proposal.
  • In the second stage, these 3D models are examined by the expert committee and only then a final selection is made.

Not more than one tableau from an organisation is selected for the parade. The number of performers on the trailer shall not be more than 10 persons. Artists performing on or along the tableau should be from the concerned state/UT only.

Rejections of this year and politics associated with it:

  • The tableau proposals of Kerala, Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar have been rejected for Republic Day parade, 2020.
  • The present controversy over Republic Day tableau comes in the backdrop of the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
  • State governments in Kerala, West Bengal and Maharashtra have already declared that they won’t allow the Act to be implemented in their states.
  • Kerala Assembly has passed a resolution to this effect.
  • The leaders of the Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra have alleged that the move is a political vendetta by the union government.
  • They have claimed that Maharashtra lost out because it’s a non-BJP ruled state and the state government had opposed the CAA.
  • West Bengal has blamed the centre’s move as step-motherly treatment meted out to the state as it had opposed CAA.
  • The ruling TMC government has alleged that the decision was an “insult to the people of the state”.

Past selections data:

  • In the past 13 years (2008-2020), tableaux from West Bengal were able to qualify for the Republic Day Parade only six times and failed to qualify for four straight years (2008-2011).
  • In 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019 West Bengal’s tableaux qualified for Republic Day Parade in when state and Centre were ruled by opposing parties. 
  • In case of Maharashtra, except 2020, in all other years when it didn’t qualify, the Centre and the state were ruled by the same party. 
  • Kerala has qualified only 6 times out of 13 years and it qualified for four years in a row between 2008 and 2011 despite the Centre and state being ruled by opposing parties.

Hence the data for the past 13 years show that there is no evidence to indicate that central governments have used Republic Day tableau as tools to target states ruled by the Opposition. The Opposition parties have also so far not provided any evidence that tableaux from state ruled by them were rejected because of party politics. 

Republic Day parade:

  • Republic Day honors the date of 26th January 1949 when the Constitution of India came into force.
  • The Republic Day Parade refers to the ceremonious parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, held every year on the same date.
  • The parade showcases India’s Defence capability, Cultural and Social Heritage.
  • It sets out from Raisina Hill near Rashtrapati Bhavan and follows Rajpath past India Gate to the Red Fort.
  • The Republic Day Parade starts off with the arrival of the President of India.
  • The Prime Minister of India lays a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate to pay homage to those who lost their lives in wars.
  • The President hosts the National flag as the National Anthem is played and a 21-gun salute is given.
  • Next important awards like the Paramvir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Children’s National Bravery Award are given away by President.
  • The grand Republic Day Parade is led by the three divisions of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Twelve contingents of various paramilitary forces of India and other civil forces also take part.
  • Each Indian state and UT is represented by a different float that highlights an aspect of its culture. 
  • The Republic Day Parade is followed up with a Beating the Retreat ceremony on January 29 which symbolizes retreat after a day on the battlefield.

Other than New Delhi, cities where parades will be organised are Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai. 

For the 2020 Republic Day parade, chief guest will be Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.