As we observe bapu’s 150th birth anniversary this year, Nation paid a grand tribute to Gandhi ji on Republic day with 22 tableaux in the republic day parade portraying his works, struggles and phases of life followed by a series of dance performances by school kids preaching Gandhi’s messages. Presence of south African president on this occasion had a special significance as it was in South Africa that Lawyer Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was thrown out of a first class train compartment to turn into a revolutionary, a freedom fighter.
It was such a charming view to see tableaux depicting scenes from his life one after another with every other presentation preaching some of his greatest teachings. All of it started with tableaux of state of Maharashtra playing ‘Vande mataram’ and depicting two very important slogans from Gandhi’s mass struggle “karo ya maro” and “angrezon Bharat chodo”.
Next in line was the presentation from Andaman and Nicobar Islands which showed the effect of Gandhi’s preachings on inmates of Cellular Jail. Tripura’s tableaux presented the gandhian dream of village based rural economic empowerment whereas Goa showed a façade of Gandhi preaching “Sarv dharm sambhav”. Presentation of Arunachal Pradesh was preaching his message of ‘peace within’ and depicted his message of “cleanliness is next to godliness”.
Tableaux from Tamil Nadu depicted a very important phase of Gandhi ji’s life when in 1921 he moved from madras to Madurai and after watching the farmer’s distress he decided to keep dhoti as his only attire. The tableaux read lawyer Mohan to Mahatma. It showed how that experience affected his life and the direction of his efforts towards society. Gujarat showed the historic Dandi march and Salt satyagrah of Gandhi whereas Jammu and Kashmir depicted nation’s composite culture as a dream of Gandhi.
Karnataka portrayed the Belagavi congress session of 1924 which was the only session chaired by Gandhi ji. Uttarakhand showed Anashakti ashram of kausani while Delhi showed his long stay at birla house (which now stands as a museum, Gandhi smriti). It was where he spent last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on 30th January 1948. Besides these State of UP showed kashi vidyapeeth cherishing his message of education as the only means for all around development of a human being.
West Bengal’s tableaux portrayed his stay in Kolkata during Indian independence and his associations with noble laureate Rabindra nath Tagore. After these states, tableaux from various ministries of the central government like ministry of Power, Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation, ministry of agriculture and India Railways and CPWD had tableaux depicting preaching of Gandhi.
Afterwards school kids gave attractive performances on heart touching songs endorsing Gandhi’s messages and with beautiful presentations they paid tribute to the great soul by taking a pledge to assimilate his teachings in our lives.