Table rejections based on due process, say central government sources

Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala spark political storm over rejection of their proposals

After three states sparked a political firestorm over the rejection of their table proposals for this year’s Republic Day parade, government sources said on Monday they had been rejected by the committee of experts on the subject. after “due process and due deliberation”.

Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala said their charts had been rejected by the government. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has not yet released the list of paintings selected for the parade. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi dated January 16, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote that the people of Bengal were “deeply saddened” by the government’s decision.

Bad precedent adopted by CMs

This is an erroneous precedent adopted by the CMs to portray the outcome of an objective process as a flashpoint between the Center and the states, a source said. “This greatly harms the federal structure.”

Declaring rejection is undoubtedly linked to regional pride and projected as an insult to the people of the states by the central government and this scenario also plays out almost every year, the source said. “Maybe the CMs don’t have a positive agenda of their own that they have to resort to the same old trick of using misinformation year after year.”

Stating that due to time constraints, only some of the proposals can be accepted, the source said that 56 proposals were received for the 2022 Republic Day Parade from States and Central Ministries, of which 21 were shortlisted. It’s only natural that more proposals are rejected than accepted given the short time frame, the source said.

Selection process

The proposals are evaluated during a series of committee meetings made up of eminent figures in art, culture, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography, among others, sources said. governmental. It reviews proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and visual impact before making its recommendations, the MoD has said in the past.

The source said the proposals from Kerala were accepted through the same process and system under the same government in 2018 and 2021, from Tamil Nadu in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and from West Bengal in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021.

“The proposed painting commemorated the contributions of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his INA [Indian National Army] on his 125th birthday and bore portraits of some of this country’s most illustrious sons and daughters…, Ms Banerjee said in the letter. “It is even more disconcerting to us that the painting was rejected without any reason or justification,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress from its official account tweeted: “It is ridiculous how the BJP led central government repeatedly and systematically insults our history, our culture and our pride. By rejecting Netaji’s painting, they again laid bare their hypocrisy. Absolutely unforgivable.

A few days ago, the government announced that Republic Day celebrations would now start on January 23 every year instead of January 24 to commemorate Netaji’s birthday.

This year’s CPWD roster includes Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and thus the question of his insult does not even arise, the source said.

Deeply disappointing, says Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, who also wrote to Mr Modi in protest, said in a tweet: “It is deeply disappointing to note that the painting depicting VO Chidambaranar, Mahakavi Bharathiyar, Rani Velu Nachiyar and Maruthu Brothers – renowned freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu – are barred from the Republic Day Parade, 2022.”

According to the state government, the design of the Kerala painting was rejected as it featured a statue of Sree Narayana Guru as opposed to the selection panel’s suggestion of Adi Sankaracharya.

Communist Party of India General Secretary D. Raja called the decision to reject the three tables “discriminatory” and an attack on federalism. “The combined RSS-BJP government resorts to such rejection as part of its continuous but unsuccessful attempts to distort our glorious history and the role played by our freedom fighters in order to fit its Hindu understanding of India, of its tradition and culture,” he said.

At last year’s parade, there were 32 paintings in all, 17 from states and union territories (UTs), nine from various ministries, departments and paramilitary forces and six from the Ministry of Defence.

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