'Don't understand hatred towards Kerala': Minister slams Centre, terms move to reject Republic Day tableau 'politically motivated'

  • Kerala cultural minister AK Balan said the Defence Ministry rejected the state's theme in the third screening and he failed to understand why the Centre has a 'hatred' towards the state

  • He asked why the state can't showcase backwaters or Kathakali or boats or anything that represents Kerala, adding that the rejection was politically motivated

  • Last year also, Kerala's proposed 'Vaikom Satyagraha' theme was rejected by the Centre for the Republic Day parade

  • Apart from Kerala, the Centre has also rejected the proposals of West Bengal and Maharashtra, prompting the TMC, Shiv Sena and the NCP to attack the Centre

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Friday termed as 'politically motivated', the Centre rejecting the state's proposed theme for the tableau for the Republic Day parade for the second consecutive year.

State cultural minister AK Balan said the Defence Ministry rejected the state's theme in the third screening and he failed to understand why the Centre has a 'hatred' towards the state.

 Dont understand hatred towards Kerala: Minister slams Centre, terms move to reject Republic Day tableau politically motivated

Representational image. Firstpost

"We had proposed a beautiful theme in the background of backwaters. We don't understand why the Centre has a hatred towards all these. The Centre gets into a frenzy when it hears Kerala or Malayali. There was no politics in that tableau. This was rejected in the third screening it seems. This is not possible without political intervention," Balan said.

He asked why the state can't showcase backwaters or Kathakali or boats or anything that represents Kerala.

"Are they (BJP) expecting to improve their vote share in the state through these moves?" Balan asked.

He also said that the Centre had even rejected the recommendations for Padma awards from Kerala.

"Barring a few, they have rejected all the names," he said.

The state had proposed a theme of art and architecture of the state with a Koothambalam, a model of the state's architecture, along with performing arts, including Kathakali, Kalaripayatt, Mohiniyattom, Theyyam and Chenda.

The front portion of the proposed theme has elephant, the official animal of the state and coconut trees and others.

Jayaprabha Menon, a jury member told media persons that there was nothing fresh in the tableau.

"We have always seen the boat race, pulikali and others many times. There was nothing new in this year's theme. There was no politics in a committee of artists, who decide the themes for the parade," Menon told a television channel.

Last year also, the state's proposed 'Vaikom Satyagraha' theme was rejected by the Centre for the Republic Day parade.

The historic Vaikom Satyagraha in Travancore was against untouchability that prevailed in Hindu society.

The movement was centred at the Shiva temple at Vaikom, near Kottayam during 1924-25.

Apart from Kerala, the Centre has also rejected the proposals of West Bengal and Maharashtra, prompting the TMC, Shiv Sena and the NCP to attack the Centre.

Twenty-two proposals, 16 from states and Union territories and six from Central ministries — out of a total 56 have been short-listed for this Republic Day parade, the Defence Ministry had said on 1 January.

The Ministry had received 32 tableau proposals from states and union territories and 24 from Central ministries and departments.

"Out of these, 22 proposals, comprising 16 states/UTs and 6 ministries/departments, have finally been short-listed for participation in the Republic Day Parade 2020 after a series of five meetings," a statement by the ministry had said.

The ministry has selected the tableaux proposals of 15 states and a union territory--Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

Of these, eight are BJP or NDA-ruled states, four are ruled by UPA and three by non-UPA and non-NDA parties.

The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Department of Financial Services, the National Disaster Relief Force, Central Public Works Department, Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and the Ministry of Shipping were selected for the 2020 parade.

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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2020 19:22:22 IST