Ministry of Defence awarded the state of Maharashtra with the award of best tableau in the Republic Day Parade 2018. Out of the tableaus of fourteen states, Maharashtrian tableau depicting the rajyabhishek (coronation) of Chhatrapati Shivaji on June 6,1674 at the Rajgarh Fort. Assam won the second prize while Chattisgarh won the third.
State Chief Minister Devendra congratulated the state for the win. He also congratulated the team from Nagpur which won in the Cultural dance category and the inter state dance competition team, both of which also won the first prize.
The idea behind the floater was conceptualised by Prof. Narendra Vichare, who is an expert the field of art and design. Maharashtra has won this award six times in past while Vichare has been awarded with the award 3 times in the years 1993, 1994 and 1994. Responding on this achievement to Mumbai Mirror, Vichare said, “It’s a great feeling to win again. I worked on the concept sketch for three months starting July. Many meetings were held and changes were suggested. I am happy with the result.”
With art production completed by Art Director Nitin Desai, the team decided to use horses instead of conventional use of elephants in the floater. The grandiose nature of coronation has been depicted by use of fortified Maratha architecture as base and majestic orchestra of tutari being played by the artists around the entire floater. In the front end of the floater, there is a massive depiction of Shivaji while towards the end there are artists are enacting the ceremony. These 10 artists are from Bhairi Bhavani theatre group in Mumbai.
Other key tableaus from the parade include one from Assam which depicted the traditional mask making tradition of Majuli Island of Assam. The floater depicts one of the scenes from Ramayana with monkey-god Hanuman, many-headed demon god Ravana present in the scene.
Even Chattisgarh and Manipur showcased the ancient art forms of the states.
Depicting the traditional handicraft industry of India, 2 states i.e. Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura showcased their woolen, pashmina industry and bamboo industry respectively.
From the state of Kerala, the floater showcased the Keddukazacha festival celebrated in Adoor. In this festival, village communities around the region compete with each other by creating the most beautiful Edupa Kala or decorated structures.
Punjab depicted the concept of ‘sangat and pangat’ i.e. symbiosis of spirituality and social service; Himachal Pradesh talked showcased Buddhism in the Spiti region of the state; and Gujarat marked the century of Gandhi Ashram.
Other than the states, Union Ministries and the Armed services also showcased their tableaus. In the category of Ministries, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports won for depicting Khel India; while tableaus of Punjab Regiment and Indo Tibetan Border Police won in their categories respectively.