After West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar, Kerala became the fourth state whose tableau for this year’s Republic Day parade was rejected by the Centre.
The state had proposed the state’s art and architecture, comprising of traditional art forms of Theyyam and Kalamandala, as the theme for its tableau. The tableau also included the state’s backwaters, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam dancers and percussionists playing the traditional instruments of Chenda (drums).
Reacting to the centre’s decision, Kerala’s Law Minister AK Balan said that the Centre’s decision was ‘politically motivated.’
“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?,” Balan was quoted in The News Minute.
“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,” he added.
Earlier today (January 3), the government released the list of states which will showcase their tableaux in the Republic Day celebrations. Of the 22 tableaux proposals approved by the Centre, six are by departments and ministries and 16 by states and Union Territories.
Opposition Slams The Government
Several Opposition leaders have hit out at the government after it rejected proposals of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar.
Congress leader and West Bengal MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted on the same.
Supriya Sule, Maharashtra MP, in a series of tweets in Marathi, slammed that government and said that the government is behaving in a ‘prejudiced manner.’
“Republic day is a national festival and it was expected that the Central govt would give equal representation to all states. But the government is acting in a prejudiced manner and is giving step-motherly treatment to states ruled by opposition parties,” she said.
“Both Maharashtra and West Bengal have equally contributed in nation’s independence. Hence, by rejecting the tableau, the Centre has insulted the people of these states. I condemn the act of the government,” she added in another tweet.
“The rejection of the West Bengal tableau for the Republic Day parade is discriminatory. It has been done because West Bengal has been opposing the centre’s CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) plans,” Saugata Roy, Trinamool Congress MP, told NDTV.
Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut also hit out at the government and asked whether any political conspiracy was behind the move.
Meanwhile, as criticisms rose, BJP’s Maharashtra state unit, on Twitter said that those criticising the government were deliberately hiding facts. BJP said that the selection process for tableaux is on a rotation basis and every year entries are requested from 32. Of this, only 16 are selected. As there are also eight tableaux from the departments of the central government, a total of 24 tableaux are permitted every year.
Also Read: Kerala Retains Top Spot In Sustainable Development Goals Index 2019; Bihar Deemed As Worst Performer