Selection of Tableaux for the Republic Day Parade


12:32 PM

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What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Why in News?
  • About the Republic Day Parade
  • Republic Day Parade: How are Tableaux Selected?
  • What is the Basis of Selection of Republic Day Parade Tableaux?
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signed Between MoD and States
  • Politics over Rejection of Tableaux

Why in News?

  • The latest tussle between the Central government and opposition ruled States over the rejection of tableaux proposals for this year’s Republic Day parade has taken a political tone.
  • In light of the Opposition's accusations of bias against the central government, we shall attempt to explain the process of selecting tableaux for the Republic Day parade.

About the Republic Day Parade

  • The Delhi Republic Day parade is the largest and most important of India's Republic Day celebrations.
  • Every year on January 26th, the parade takes place on the Kartavya Path (formally Rajpath) in New Delhi. The first parade took place in 1950 and it has taken place every year since.
  • The parade marches along the Kartavya Path from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate and then to the Red Fort.
  • Among other things, tableaus representing the cultures of various states are displayed.

Republic Day Parade: How are Tableaux Selected?

  • According to a Ministry of Defence (MoD) circular, a select number of “State govts/UTs/Central ministries or departments” send their tableaux each year to the Republic Day parade.
  • There is a rigorous application process which begins with interested parties submitting a concept note, along with design blueprints to the MoD.
  • The tableaux proposals received are evaluated by a committee of experts appointed by the MoD, comprising prominent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography, etc.
  • The selection process happens in a phased manner.
    • STAGE 1
      • It involves the assessment of the initial proposals and the design sketch/blueprint.
      • The Committee suggests modifications (if necessary) and a number of proposals may be rejected in this stage itself.
    • STAGE 2
      • It involves assessment of 3-D models of the proposals.
      • If the Committee is satisfied with the model, then the tableau is selected and further sent for fabrication.
    • Crucially, while the process is envisioned to be collaborative, the Committee has the final say on which tableaux are chosen (approx. 15 every year), and can order any modifications they feel are required.

What is the Basis of Selection of Republic Day Parade Tableaux?

  • Each year, the MoD comes up with an overarching theme, under which participants can showcase elements relevant to their respective state/UT/department in their tableaux.
  • This year’s theme is “Viksit Bharat” (Developed India) and “Bharat: Loktantra ki Matrika” (India: the Mother of Democracy).
  • Importantly, the tableaux of two different states/ UTs must not be too similar and eco-friendly material must be used for their construction.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signed Between MoD and States

  • Under a MoU signed between the MoD and governments concerned, all the states and UTs will get equal opportunity to display their tableaux in the next 3 Republic Day celebrations at Kartavya Path.
  • The 3-year rolling plan (2024-2026) was finalised so that every state and UT gets a chance - on a rotational basis - to showcase its tableau during the Republic Day parade.
  • An expert committee, comprising reputed artists recommended by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Indian Council for Cultural Relations was constituted for selecting the tableaux

Politics over Rejection of Tableaux

  • A State can pitch multiple proposals to the committee, but only one is chosen for the final parade.
  • The Defence Ministry argues that only a limited number of tableaux can be selected due to time constraints and to ensure the participation of the best ones.
  • However, the exclusion of proposals from Opposition-ruled States has led to accusations of ‘discrimination’ by several State governments.
  • This year, tableau proposals by Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal - all non-BJP ruled States - failed to make the final cut.
  • While the Centre is yet to release the final list of tableaux for the parade, it has rejected the criticism as “baseless” and claimed that the rejected proposals didn’t align with this year’s broader theme.

Source: Centre and Opposition spar over rejection of R-Day tableaux: How tableaux are chosen for the Republic Day parade | TH | IE