UPDATED: January 27, 2021 23:09 IST
The tableau of Uttar Pradesh which showcased a replica of the Ayodhya Ram temple in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath on Tuesday has bagged the first prize.
The Uttar Pradesh tableau displayed cultural heritage of ancient holy town Ayodhya, a replica of the Ram temple, glimpse of ‘Deepotsav’ and various stories from Ramayana epic.
The bedecked tableau was fronted by a sitting model of Maharishi Valmiki and the temple model occupied a large portion on the rear side.
The tableau of Uttar Pradesh has been adjudged the best among those of the 17 states and Union Territories that took part in the Republic Day parade in the national capital on Tuesday. The award will be given away by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday.
A group of artistes, including many dressed as saints, accompanied the Uttar Pradesh tableau.
Republic Day celebrations on Rajpath this time were scaled-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, as a result, there were smaller marching contingents, shorter distance for the parade and fewer spectators.
Strict safety protocols and social distancing norms were in place.
Ayodhya’s Deepotsav depicted in R-Day tableau
Ayodhya’s Deepotsav celebrations, which bagged a place in the Guinness Book of Records, was depicted on one side of the tableau with earthen lamps, while other murals showed embracing of Nishadraj by Lord Ram and eating of Shabri’s berry by him, salvation of Ahilya, bringing of Sanjeevani by Lord Hanuman, Jatayu-Ram samvad, Ashok Vatika and other scenes.
On November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court had settled the fractious Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, going back more than a century, and ordered the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site. It also had ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the Hindu holy town.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last August had performed the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of a Supreme Court-mandated Ram temple in Ayodhya, bringing to fruition the BJP’s mandir movement that defined its politics for three decades and took it to the heights of power.
The Ram temple is scheduled for completion in 2023.