Bengal and a group of ordinary people have emerged as the toppers on the mightiest catwalk in the country. The Republic Day tableau from Bengal was today adjudged the best by a panel of judges from the Union defence ministry.
A turbulent history
Bengal had stopped participating for the 12 years that preceded 2011 when the Mamata Banerjee government took over from the Left. From 1999, the then Jyoti Basu government had stopped sending tableaux; the Mamata Banerjee government revived the tradition in 2012.
The winning team
A 10-member Chhau Group from the Shiv Shakti Chhow Dance Academy, Purulia, staged the live performance on the tableau.
The Purulia Chhau traces its origin to a warrior tribe —Bhumij or Munda. Drawing on episodes from the Ramayan, Mahabharat and the Puranas, the Chhau has evolved as a ritual to propitiate the Sun, Shiva and Shakti and dominantly depicts the vira and raudra rasas.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shared news of the first prize on
Facebook. “I am very proud to share with you that West Bengal tableau in
the Republic Day Parade, 2014, at New Delhi has been selected as the
best and ranked first,” WB CM posted. “My heartiest congratulations to
the participants and to all those who put up the great show,” she added.Elated reactions
State information and cultural affairs secretary Atri Bhattacharya said the Chief Minister had reason to be happy as she had handpicked the theme and fine-tuned the tableau, which ranked first among the 18 that took part in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath.
Calcutta-based firm Adland Publicity had designed the tableau.
“We proposed the theme, which was initially approved by the department of information and cultural affairs. After six months of meetings from June 2013, the proposal for the tableau was sent to the expert committee of the ministry of defence and was given the final approval,” said Surajit Chakraborty, of Adland Publicity.