'Why is Bengal tableau being dropped from R-Day parade?'
Kolkata: In the run-up to X-Mas, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Kolkata Christmas Festival by lighting the Christmas tree outside Allen Park on Friday evening. With festive lights flickering to life, a loud cheer went up in the air which marked the official start of the festival.
In the same breath, Banerjee questioned the rejection of Bengal tableau from Republic Day parade and said whether the decision was taken because the theme was unity and the state wanted to show that only harmony among people can ensure peace.
Stating that the decision to reject the tableau "is an insult to Bengal", she said: "…You all must know that this year we had proposed to present a tableau with the theme of "Ekatai Sampriti" for the Republic Day parade and is this the reason for the rejection?" Millennium Post was the first to report that there would be no Bengal tableau at the upcoming Republic Day parade.
Banerjee said that the state was not only called to attend the meeting in September and October but the proposed theme was also appreciated. "We had even accepted all their suggestions. But haven't received the communiqué to attend the next meeting," she said adding that this comes at the time when Bengal's tableau had won the first prize twice in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
"In 2015 they had rejected Bengal's tableau on Kanyashree Prakalpa as the theme coincided with a similar project on Beti Bachao Beti Padhao," Banerjee said the Centre did not give any recognition to Kanyashree but it was awarded the first prize by the United Nations.
Explaining the importance of "Ekatai Sampriti", she raised a question as to why the Centre has cancelled the national holiday on Christmas and sought a clarification behind taking this step after demanding the withdrawal of the decision. "The logic behind cancelling the national holiday on Christmas Day should be explained or else I would say that there must be a purpose behind it," Banerjee said.
She further said that unlike the Centre, the state government still gives holiday on Christmas Day and in no way has it affected work. "I still feel that the Centre should withdraw its decision and once again announce Christmas Day as a national holiday," Banerjee maintained adding that sentiments of the people should not be hurt. "The message of Christmas is to include everybody. Our government started the Christmas festival because we want everybody to come here and experience this festival. We celebrate all festivals. I have been attending the mid-night mass every year including all my officials," said the Chief Minister.
She also released a book on veteran Olympian and hockey player Gurbax Singh, along with a newly constructed bridge over Tolly's Nullah and a museum and a library of the Kolkata Police.