India displays cultural diversity at R-Day parade

New Delhi: The glory of the living abode of one of the greatest poets of the 20th century Rabindranath Tagore, women`s empowerment and the century-long journey of `Punjab Mail` are among a range of themes that enthralled the audience at the Republic Day parade here today.

Tableaux by 13 states and ten ministries and departments of Central Government showcased the country`s rich cultural heritage as they rolled down the majestic Rajpath.

Tagore was the flavour of the season as a tableaux on the celebrated bard of India was displayed for the second consecutive year, coinciding with his 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

Last year, the Culture Ministry had displayed a tabluex on Tagore, while this year it is the West Bengal Government which is propagating him as it makes a come back into the parade after 13 years.

Each state displayed little known aspects of its art and culture, while the tableaux of ministries showcased the functioning of their departments. For the first time, the Election Commission rolled out a tableau featuring a mammoth model of the Electronic Voting Machine and banners exhorting youngsters to vote.

Besides the EC, the other ministries that showcased their tableaux include Textile, Human Resource Development, Tribal Affairs, Railways, Steel and Agriculture. The replica of Punjab Mail, the first train on the country`s broad gauge network to complete 100 years, was displayed as part of the Republic Day tableau.

The mellifluous cadence of a flute, bejewelled dancers from Jammu and Kashmir undulating to the rhythm of a folk song, mime artists having organisers in splits, sculptors from Chhattisgarh chipping at a Dondaki piece — the states` repertoire have strived to showcase their cultural best.

Among the states that participated this time include West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgrah, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Bihar, Assam, Punjab, Nagaland and Sikkim.

The Indian Airforce also had a special tableau with the theme `People first mission always`. The IAF tableau showcased the C-130J Super Hercules, the World`s most advanced and tactical aircraft and the forces` latest acquisition in the IAF-Mi-17 V5 Helicopter.