IEP Chandigarh, January 25
Slamming the BJP government at centre for not including the tableau of state in the Republic Day parade, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday said that this anti-Punjab stance of the Union government is unwarranted and undesirable. In a statement issued here today, the Chief Minister said that every year Republic Day Parade celebrations include a spectacular ceremonious parade, which is a tribute to India, its unity in diversity and its rich cultural heritage through various states’ tableaus. He said that the state of Punjab has also been regularly featuring in the tableau parade showcasing the critical importance of this border state with its rich history, colourful and vibrant culture and pivotal point for defining events which shaped the history of the great nation. Bhagwant Mann said that it is a matter of great disappointment that this year despite the presentation of ideas to the selection committee on important themes like Watan Ke Rakhwale – emphasising the significant role of Punjab in India’s military might and anndata, Nari Shakti- through valour of Mai Bhago ji and the revered events in history of freedom struggle along with tales of bravery and supreme sacrifices through Battle of Saragarhi, the tableau of state of Punjab has not been selected for the Republic Day Parade. The Chief Minister said that though the selection committee even appreciated the ideas but it is disheartening that the people of this great country along with the whole world will be bereft from the rich cultural and historical tribute, which Punjab will have showcased. He recalled that Punjabis had made enormous sacrifices to free our motherland from its yoke of British imperialism. Bhagwant Mann said that despite of being merely two percent of the country’s population 80% of the martyrs either executed or exiled during the freedom movement were Punjabis. The Chief Minister said that even after independence the Punjabis have been instrumental in the prosperity and overall development of the country besides safeguarding the borders of the nation from the external aggressions. He said that the state government wanted to showcase this stellar role of Punjabis in the freedom struggle through the Tableau. Bhagwant Mann bemoaned that the Union government had hatched a conspiracy by not allowing Punjab to showcase its achievements to the world. The Chief Minister lamented that though the country is celebrating 75th year of its independence but due to reasons best known to them, the Union government is skeptical of those patriots who have steered the country to freedom. He said that this reflects the myopic mindset of the BJP led government which is at the helms of the affairs in the country. Bhagwant Mann said that the BJP government is probably hesitant to reflect the contribution of the state in the national freedom struggle. The Chief Minister said that it is ironical that only BJP ruled states have been allowed to participate in the Republic Day parade from North India. He said that non-BJP ruled states especially Punjab and Delhi have been deliberately kept out of the parade by the BJP. Bhagwant Mann said that this type of discriminatory treatment with Punjab and Punjabis is highly condemnable and intolerable.