West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said she was “shocked and hurt” by the Centre’s decision to reject the tableau proposed by the state government for the Republic Day parade, ANI reported
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Banerjee said she was “baffled” that Union government rejected the tableau without giving any reasons or justifications.
She said that the proposed tableau was meant for commemorating the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose and had portraits of several prominent personalities from West Bengal, including Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Matangini Hazra and others.
“I may like to inform you that all the people of West Bengal are deeply pained by this attitude of the central government,” the chief minister said. “Bengal was at the forefront of Indian freedom struggle, and has paid the heaviest price for the country’s Independence through Partition and uprooting of millions of people.”
This is the fourth time since 2015 that the Centre has rejected the West Bengal government’s tableau for the Republic Day parade, according to The Statesman.
In her letter, Banerjee listed the contributions of freedom fighters and personalities from the state who contributed to India’s Independence movement, including that of Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Jatin Das (also known as Bagha Jatin) and Kazi Nazrul Islam.
“The exclusion of the tableau amounts to belittling and undermining these freedom fighters,” the chief minister said. She urged the prime minister to reconsider the Centre’s decision.
“The tableau which showcases the sacrifices and contributions of the lakh of freedom fighters will be the most befitting way to pay our respect and homage to all those great souls who fought for our freedom,” the letter added.
On Saturday, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury too had written to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to allow the tableau at the Republic Day parade. Chowdhury had alleged that the central government’s decision was a biased one.
“This is an insult to the people of West Bengal, its cultural heritage and our great hero Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose,” he had said.
The Union Ministry of Defence has also rejected the Kerala government’s Republic Day tableau proposal for the third time in the past four years.
The Kerala government had proposed a tableau of anti-caste social reformer Narayana Guru and tourism centre Jatayu Park. However, the Centre’s jury had suggested that the tableau should have featured the eighth century philosopher Adi Sankaracharya.