100 Women Artists to commence Republic Day Parade with traditional instruments

For the first time, 100 women artists in the traditional costumes of their respective states will commence the parade on the themes, ‘Vikshit Bharat’ (Developed India) and ‘India: Mother of Democracy’ (Bharat: Loktantra Ki Jannee), playing conch shells, drums, and other traditional instruments, informed the PIB.

Additionally, another 1,500 women artists from 30 states and Union Territories will present folk and classical dances. About 1,900 sarees from all the States will be displayed on the Kartavya path. This was informed by the Minister of State for Culture Meenakashi Lekhi. She was addressing a press conference regarding various cultural components of the Ministry of Culture during the Republic Week from 23rd to 31st January, at the National Media Centre, New Delhi.

Govind Mohan, Secretary, Ministry of Culture; Uma Nanduri, Joint Secretary Culture, Amita Prasad Sarbhai, Joint Secretary Culture, Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Dr. Sandhya Purecha, Chairperson of Sangeet Natak Academy were also present during the conference.

Secretary Govind Mohan, in his opening comments, highlighted a move towards more inclusive representation. “Aligned with the government’s philosophy, we aim to strengthen the integration of cultural elements in the customary observance of Republic Day and Republic Week. Traditionally centred on showcasing the country’s military capabilities, this focus remains uncompromised. Government policies now involve a heightened presentation of our nation’s diverse culture,” stated Mohan.

The Secretary also reiterated that this time, the cultural display is anticipated to be on a grander scale, showcasing a wider array of artistic and cultural expressions. The approach will involve extensive engagement across all regions of the country, fostering deeper connections with its people. The objective is to effectively convey the message of “Unity in Diversity,” encapsulated in the motto ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat,’ which stands as the bedrock and foundational policy of the overall governance.

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While the Republic Day parade always begins with the military band, Dr. Sandhya Purecha, Chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Academy, informed that this time, female artists will inaugurate the parade along with traditional musical instruments. These female artists have been practicing dance presentations for the past month.

Amita Prasad, Joint Secretary of the Union Culture Ministry, mentioned that the 75th Republic Day will be starting with Parakram Diwas, inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Red Fort premises. Programmes will run for seven days at the Red Fort. The choice of this location is due to Netaji’s connections with the Red Fort. Lalit Kala Academy and the National Archives will be organising various exhibitions where essential documents related to Subhash Chandra Bose Netaji’s life, including letters and audio speeches, will be on display. Sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik will also be present. Additionally, a 270-degree theater has been constructed for watching videos on his life, scripted by Atul Tiwari.

Further, a special exhibition titled ‘Anant Sutra’ is underway on the Kartavyapath. The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is the nodal agency for this exhibition, arranged on both sides of the Kartavya Path. “We are paying homage to women’s power through the ‘Anant Sutra’,” said Prasad. A 150-year-old saree, showcasing the Kota Panthi art form of Kashmir and Punjab, will also be on display.

Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, highlighted that the Ministry of Culture’s tableau theme this time is ‘Mother of Democracy.’ He mentioned that extensive research by the Ministry of Culture on the theme ‘Mother of Democracy’ is reflected in the artwork of the new Parliament building. The first trailer of the tableau will illustrate the adherence to democratic traditions since the Vedic period or earlier, featuring a replica of Ashoka’s inscription of Junagadh. “We’ve showcased an image on our second tractor, depicting Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee, presenting the Constitution to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Chairman of the Constitution Committee. Celebrating the 75th year of the Indian Republic, it’s apt to revisit this historic moment. Additionally, we have a unique presentation, likely being shown on Kartavya Path for the first time,” stated Dr. Joshi. The tableau’s uniqueness lies in presenting content through 3-D technology known as ‘anamorphic’ which will depict the evolution of democracy, showcasing the transition from traditional ballots to EVMs.

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