18 tableaux to showcase India’s diversity on Republic Day

January 21st, 2009 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Be it the folk culture of Mithila, the Gair dance of Rajasthan or the fauna of the Kaziranga and Ranthambore national parks — all this and more will be on display as 18 tableaux roll down Rajpath during the Jan 26 Republic Day parade to showcase vibrant India’s rich cultural diversity. “The tableaux will showcase India’s amazing diversity and rich cultural heritage,” a defence ministry official told reporters here Wednesday even as artisans from across the country were engaged in giving last minute touches to the floats.

The tableaux comprise 12 from different Indian states and six from the central government’s ministries and departments. Their number, however, has been reduced from last year’s 26 to accommodate the larger number of gallantry award winners who will receive their medals from President Pratibha Patil before the start of the parade.

Still, there will be something for everyone. Each tableau depicts its own story to portray themes varying from industrial progress to national heritage and from traditional art and culture to legendary personalities.

The Jammu and Kashmir tableau focuses on tourism. It portrays a monastery of Ladakh, as also a group of mask dancers and a luxurious houseboat. The Kud dance prevalent in the mountain ranges of Jammu will form a part of the tableau.

While the Bihar tableau showcases the folk culture of Mithila, Tripura’s tableau will recreate the magic of dexterous handicrafts made out of bamboo.

The importance of the Pooram festival celebrated in Kerala is shown on the state’s float.

The natural beauty of Ranthambore will be recreated on the Rajasthan tableau, with the Gair folk dance providing a contrast.

According to Prem Kumar, one of the dancers, “we came here on January 9 and have been rehearsing since then”. Pointing to his costume, which weighs around 10 kg, he said: “We have to perform in a circular motion wearing this.”

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is participating in the parade for the first time.

“Our tableau displays various aspects of disaster management, including pre and post-disaster situations and the ways to handle them,” NDMA official R.K. Sinha told IANS

Apart from NDMA, the ministries of railways, power and micro, small and medium enterprises, besides the Department of Science and Technology and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) will also showcase their activities during the parade.

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