New Delhi, Jan 26: After three long years, the national capital Delhi’s tableau will be showcased in the Republic Day 2017 parade. As per the reports, Delhi’s tableau will showcase the Aam Aadmi Party’s recent initiatives in the field of Education in Delhi since it came to power. The Capital’s representation has been made at a cost of Rs 25 lakh. The cost of other floats from the 17 selected states and six Central government agencies reached up to Rs one crore, said Bibhuti Adhikary, the designer of Delhi’s float this year.

The story of Delhi’s tableau has been a story of rejection and acceptance over the years since the first Republic Day parade was held at Rajpath in Delhi. The first time it was showcased was in the year 1952 with a theme centered around the legend of Chhatrapati Shivaji. In the year 1992, the concept for Delhi’s float was first rejected then accepted only after the intervention of then Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao. It got approval on January 17. “We had only nine days. But we worked round-the-clock and managed to prepare a tableaux just in time,” said Sehrawat, reported HT.

The Delhi tableau is being showcased this year after three years, just like it happened in the year 1995 after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) rejected the national Capital’s proposal for the third time in a row.

Set in the 12th Century, the idea for the tableau was to represent Prithviraj Chauhan leading a march against the Mohammad Ghori. Apparently, the idea for the Delhi tableau wasn’t accepted. Apart from Madan Lal Khurana being furious over the rejection, Baikunth Lal Sharma ‘Prem’ organised a protest on the second day of the R-Day festivities. “I was upset. The Ministry of Defence had allowed jhankis of other states but rejected Delhi’s proposal,” said Sharma, reported Hindustan Times.

In fact, the capital city’s tableau has been showcased only 11 times in the last 25 years. A tableau can be rejected on several grounds.

The apparent reasons of rejection:

  1. It can be because of the Centre’s disapproval of states promoting their governance model.
  2. It can be because of bad appearance of the tableau.

“The year 1995 was no exception. The committee comprises eminent scholars, artists, and experts from various fields to decide on the subject proposed by a state. Delhi’s idea was sent to the committee after getting a nod of the chief minister. Sometimes, the idea is turned down,” said MS Sehrawat, media adviser, New Delhi Municipal Council who was also involved in forming a concept for the Delhi tableaux during the tenure of chief ministers Madan Lal Khurana, Sahib Singh Verma, Sushma Swaraj, and Sheila Dikshit.

Issues of Delhi’s tableau design and the ideas accepted over the years:

  1. For over 40 years, the only thing that was portrayed in Delhi’s float was either on social issues or Centre’s social welfare policies.
  2. In the year 1965, during the India Gandhi tenure, the theme for it was agriculture. In 1966, it was based on the theme of ‘Education for all’; in 1978, it was based on adult education and in 1979, the theme was circulated around better life through prohibition theme.
  3. After 1993, to promote Delhi as a city for all, the theme revolved around infrastructure, education, transport, fairs, festivals, heritage, and its growth over the years.
  4. In 1999, Chandni Chowk was depicted through the tableau; Mirza Ghalib featured in 2001; Kargil War in 2000 while Amir Khusro was the topic for the year 2004.
  5. Delhi Metro was taken as the subject for the tableau twice in 2003 and 2006.
  6. In the year 2011, the capital city’s tableau carried the message of ‘cultural and religious harmony’ for which it even received an award.

“The idea was to promote Delhi as a city for all. Relevant issues were selected after discussions among the authorities,” said Bappa Chakraborty who was involved in preparing Delhi’s tableau.

“So many people give their heart and soul to making the tableau. But no facility has been made to keep them or at least the best ones intact. Respective state houses keep them for a few days or months and later sell it off in bits to whoever wants to take it,” Adhikary told HT. This is because after the parade is done, the tableau representing Indian states are sold as scrap.