Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday expressed disappointment over the Centre's rejection of the State Tableau for the Republic Day celebrations in the national capital and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's immediate intervention to have it included.
Excluding the tableau would deeply hurt the sentiments and patriotic feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu, he said.
'That the expert committee chooses to ignore and reject all the seven designs shown to it as per the modifications suggested by its members is unacceptable,' the chief minister said.
'I am given to understand that Tamil Nadu was not called for the fourth round of meeting and it was informed that Tamil Nadu has been left out while shortlisting,' Stalin claimed in the letter addressed to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was made available to the media in Chennai.
Stating that this was a 'matter of grave concern to Tamil Nadu and its people', he sought the PM's 'urgent intervention to arrange to include the tableau of Tamil Nadu' that will showcase the freedom fighters of Tamil Nadu in the Republic Day parade 2022 in New Delhi.
Expressing 'disappointment' to know that Tamil Nadu has been deprived of the opportunity to participate in the ensuing Republic Day parade on January 26 in New Delhi, he said the Defence Ministry had proposed 'India @ 75, Freedom Struggle, Ideas @ 75, Achievements @ 75, Actions @ 75, & Resolve @ 75' as the theme of the tableaux for Republic Day Parade, 2022.
Accordingly, Tamil Nadu submitted sketches choosing the theme 'Tamil Nadu in the Freedom Struggle' depicting the renowned freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu.
The state representatives appeared before the expert committee for tableaux selection thrice. In the first meeting, the expert committee expressed satisfaction about Tamil Nadu's theme which depicted freedom fighters of Tamil Nadu during the British Raj at the front and during the East India company's period at the rear of the tableau, he said.
'The design had V O Chidambaranar (VOC), the famous freedom fighter who founded the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company in 1906 during Indian Independence movement to compete against the British. VOC was charged with sedition by the British Government and sentenced to imprisonment,' Stalin said.
Also, the design had Subramania Bharathi, popularly known as Maha Kavi Bharathiar who kindled patriotism in the minds of the people with his fiery patriotic songs and writings during the Indian Independence movement.
The poet was held in high esteem by Mahatma Gandhi also.
The rear of the tableau was designed to showcase a statue of Rani Velu Nachiyar riding a horse with a sword in hand and with women soldiers.
She was the first Indian queen to wage a war with the East India Company in India.
She was the queen of Sivagangai region from 1780 to 1790 and blew up an ammunition storage of East India Company by arranging a suicide attack.
'She is hailed as 'Veeramangai' a brave woman,' the chief minister explained in the letter.
Marudhupandiyar brothers (known as Maruthu brothers) offered protection to Queen Velu Nachiyar and helped her to win the war against the East India Company and win back Sivagangai.
'They also became Kings of Sivagangai and later were executed by the East India Company. The images of Maruthupandiyars are proposed to be depicted in the tableaux,' the chief minister said and added that V O Chidambaranar, Maha Kavi, Veeramangai Velu Nachiyar and Maruthu brothers are some of the several freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu.