India, Republic Day, Stories

Data: Between 2005 & 2024, Jammu & Kashmir’s Tableau Was Part of Every Republic Day Parade except in 2021 & 2024


Between 2005 and 2024, a total of 301 state tableaux took part in the Republic Day Parade on varied themes. Culture & Heritage was the most common theme with over 28% of the tableaux choosing this theme. Of the states, Jammu & Kashmir’s tableau was part of the parade in 18 of these 20 years except in 2021 & 2024.

On 26 January 2024, India celebrated the 75th Republic Day. On this day, a series of events are organized by the Central Government in the national capital. These include flag hoisting, distribution of bravery awards, and the Republic Day Parade (RDP). Civilian awards such as Bharat Ratna, and Padma Awards are announced on the eve of the Republic Day. Factly published a detailed data story on Civilian Awards, which can be read here. An explainer of the events that take place on that day is also available.

The RDP is an integral part of the annual Republic Day celebrations. It starts with a Military parade that includes impressive displays of India’s military might, showcasing the strength, discipline, and capabilities of the armed forces. The military parade is followed by a cultural parade which includes tableaux showcasing the cultural diversity, historical significance, and achievements of different states & Union Territories of India, and the different union ministries.

Tableaux are selected based on parameters like visual appeal, impact, theme, detailing, and local artisan involvement

The tableaux usually comprise various components, including a thematic concept, structural design with replicas and displays of landmarks, artistic representations, performers in traditional costumes, floral decorations, information boards, technology integration, moving parts, and lighting effects. From inviting states and Union Territories to participate to providing theme guidelines, and overseeing the submission and selection of proposals, the Ministry of Defence plays a pivotal role in the cultural parade. There is a long and complex process involved in the selection of tableaux. An expert committee from the Ministry of Defence evaluates proposals based on parameters like visual appeal, impact, theme, detailing, and local artisan involvement. Tableaux are also sent by Ministries and Central Government Departments. 

In this story, we look at the historical trends in state tableaux that were part of the RDP in the last two decades from 2005 to 2024. Data for the same has been taken from Dataful. We also look at the trends in tableaux sent by ministries in the last decade from 2015 to 2024.

An average of 15 state tableaux and 10 ministry tableaux are showcased every year

On average, 15 tableaux are part of the RDP every year from states, proportionately based on geographic zone. Only 12 state tableaux were part of the parade in 2009 and 2022 while there were 18 in 2007. The years 2021 and 2023 saw 17 state tableaux in the parade.

From Ministries/Departments, an average of 10 tableaux are part of the parade every year. While 11 were showcased in 2021, only 6 were showcased in 2023 and 9 in 2024.

Jammu and Kashmir’s tableaux were showcased 18 times in the last 20 years while Nagaland’s tableau appeared only once

In the last two decades, Jammu and Kashmir’s Tableau has been part of every Republic Day Parade except in 2021 and 2024. However, Ladakh’s tableau was showcased in both these years. Karnataka’s tableau was part of all parades except in 2007, 2009, and 2024. Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra’s tableaux appeared 15 times each. Apart from these states, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Goa, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu’s tableaux appeared at least 10 times. 

Meanwhile, Nagaland’s tableaux appeared only once (2012) between 2005 & 2024. Telangana’s appeared thrice since its formation in 2014. UTs of Lakshadweep, Chandigarh, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands showcased their tableaux only on two instances.  

Central Public Works Department’s tableaux appeared 9 times in the last 10 years

On the other hand, among Ministries and Departments, the tableau of the Central Public Works Department appeared 9 times in ten years between 2015 and 2024. The Ministry of Culture’s tableau appeared four times. Among the remaining 48 Ministries/Departments, the tableaux of 15 Ministries/Departments appeared twice. These include that of the Election Commission of India, ICAR, Central Reserve Police Force, and the Ministries of AYUSH, Finance, External Affairs, Home Affairs, and Tribal Affairs, among others. 35 Ministries & Departments including All India Radio, Indian Railways, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Power, Agriculture, Textiles, Women and Child Development, and National Disaster Response Force appeared once in the last decade.

Themes in state tableaux have been categorized into 7 broad areas for analysis

For analysing the themes in the state tableaux in Republic Day parades, we have categorized the themes chosen by the tableaux which were part of the final selected list into the following broad themes.

  • State Speciality:  All art forms and other specialties related to a specific state come under this category. For instance, art forms like Jammu and Kashmir’s Pashmina, Dhokra art of Jharkhand, and Padayani- the traditional folk dance of Kerala, etc. which are specific to a state have been grouped into this category.
  • History: Events and monuments depicting the Indian independence movement & other historical events come under this category. 
  • Culture & Heritage: Temples, ancient culture, and ancient architecture fall in this category. 
  • Personalities: Tableaux related to historical figures & well-known individuals have been categorised under this category.
  • Festivals: This category includes tableaux depicting various festivals such as Prabhala Theertham of Andhra Pradesh, Onam of Kerala, etc.
  • Environment: Tableaux depicting flora & fauna are under this category.
  • Development Work: Tableaux depicting various schemes of the governments fall in this category.

Majority of the state tableaux were culture and heritage related

A total of 301 tableaux of states were showcased in the last twenty years between 2005 & 2024. Of these, about 28% were culture and heritage-related. State specialties were depicted in about 25% of the tableaux. Festivals constituted 14% and Development works constituted another 12%. Environment, history, and personalities were the broad theme categories in 6,7, and 8% of the tableaux, respectively. Among the 76 tableaux showcased by ministries in the last decade, around 80% depicted development work. 8% depicted personalities and 5% were environment related. About 4% depicted history. 

Only 4 states have sent tableaux across all theme categories

Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra are the only states to have sent tableaux across all the seven themes. Karnataka’s tableaux were of the theme ‘culture and heritage’ in 7 out of the 17 appearances of the state. Jammu and Kashmir’s five appearances were related to development work in the state/UT. Uttarakhand and Meghalaya showcased environment-related tableaux thrice out of their total 13 and 11 appearances, respectively, since 2005. Assam depicted State Speciality 8 times out of its 15 appearances. Punjab’s tableaux portrayed personalities in 4 appearances and history in 2 appearances.

Gujarat’s tableau was among the top 3 selected by panel and online poll

Following the 2024 parade, awards are announced for the top three tableaux, determined through the evaluation of a panel and an online poll. Three distinct panels of judges were assigned to assess the performance of tableaux representing different States/UTs, Ministries/Departments, and additional events. Based on the assessment of the panels, the top 3 tableaux in 2024 are Odisha (Woman Empowerment in Viksit Bharat) in the first place, followed by Gujarat (Dhordo: A Global Icon of Gujarat’s Border Tourism) in the second place, and Tamil Nadu (Kudavolai System in ancient Tamil Nadu – Mother of Democracy) in the third place. Ministry of Culture – (Bharat: Mother of Democracy) was adjudged best among Ministries/Departments.

Based on the online poll conducted by MyGov that allowed citizens to vote for their favourite tableaux from States/UTs and Ministries/Departments, the top 3 tableaux were that of Gujrat (Dhordo: A Global Icon of Gujarat’s Border Tourism), Uttar Pradesh (Viksit Bharat Samradh Virasat), and Andhra Pradesh (Transforming School Education in Andhra Pradesh – Making Students Globally Competitive) in the first, second and third places. Vibrant Villages (Ministry of Home Affairs) was voted as the best among Ministries/Departments.

New plans may be rolled out to ensure that states can participate at least once in three years

This year, Punjab’s and Karnataka’s chief ministers lashed out at the central government when their tableau got rejected. However, this is not the first time that such issues have been raised by state CMs. Almost every other year, state governments raise issues over the selection process when their tableau gets rejected. Following this, media reports suggest that the Defence Ministry has proposed a new plan to ensure that every State and UT gets an opportunity within a three-year cycle for equitable distribution.


About Author

A bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s in social science, she is driven by ardent desire to work with this unique combination to create her own path instead of following the herd. Having served a stint as the college union chairperson, she is a strategist who is also passionate about nature conservation, art and loves solving Sudoku.

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