Bengal government’s theme for the tableau to be shown in the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi this year is Sharod Utsav.
According to an official of the state secretariat, the theme has been taken up to showcase how people from all communities in Bengal participate and rejoice during the biggest festival of the state, Durga Puja.
There will be an idol of Goddesses Durga at one end of the tableau and artists from different areas starting from the hills to Sunderbans will be performing their traditional forms of dances to symbolise how each and everyone in the state turns to be the part of sharod utsav.
Thirty artists from different parts of the state have already gone to Delhi and their rehearsal for the performance on Republic Day is going on in full swing at Rastriya Rangashala Camp in Delhi.
More importantly, all the artists, who will be performing in the parade, are receiving the financial assistance of the state government under Lok Prashar Scheme. The state government provides financial assistance to 80,000 folk artists in the state that helped to revive many art forms which would have gone extinct.
Women dhakis mainly from North 24-Parganas will be playing dhaks on the tableau. The rhythmic beat of dhaks is an integral part of Durga Puja.
Earlier, only men used to play dhaks, but in the past few years, women have also come forward to prove their talent in this field as well.
The women dhakis have become immensely popular in Bengal and they were invited to perform at different Puja mandaps during Durga Puja.
Traditional dancers from Darjeeling and folk dancers from Midnapore will also be performing on the tableau. A section of the total 30 artists will be performing on the tableau while the rest will be performing on the road through which the parade will pass.
Bengal was awarded twice earlier for the being the best tableau in the Republic Day Parade.
In 2014, the tableau that was based on the Chhau Dance of the state had won the prize and again in 2015, the state’s tableau was awarded the first prize. In 2015, too, folk artists who took part in the parade were part of the Lok Prashar Scheme and the project was also showcased.
Last year, the concept of the tableau was bauls of Bengal.