News: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday postponed polling for the Punjab Assembly election from February 14 to 20 after the State government and political parties raised concern that many devotees would be in Varanasi to celebrate Guru Ravidas’s birth anniversary on February 16 and miss out on voting.
About Guru Ravidas:
Guru Ravidas was an Indian mystic poet-sant of the Bhakti movement and founder of Ravidassia religion during the 15th to 16th century CE.
Venerated as a guru (teacher) in the region of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and mainly Punjab and Haryana.
He was a poet-saint, social reformer and a spiritual figure.
Ravidas’s devotional Verses were included in the Sikh scriptures known as Guru Granth Sahib.
The Panch Vani text of the Dadupanthi tradition within Hinduism also includes numerous poems of Guru Ravidas.
He taught removal of social divisions of caste and gender, and promoted unity in the pursuit of personal spiritual freedom.
2. REPUBLIC DAY TABLEAU
News: After three States — Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala — kicked up a political storm over the rejection of their proposed tableaux for this year’s Republic Day parade, government sources on Monday said they were rejected by the Subject Expert Committee after “due process and due deliberations”. The Ministry of Defence is yet to release the list of tableaux selected for the parade.
About the Selection process:
Around September every year the Defence Ministry, which is responsible for the Republic Day parade and the celebrations, invites all the states, the Union Territories, Central Government departments, and a few constitutional authorities to participate in the parade through tableaux.
The Defence Ministry wrote letters to the 80 Union Ministries and departments, all 36 states and Union Territories through their secretaries, and the Election Commission and the Niti Aayog on September 16, inviting them to participate.
The letter mentioned that it “initiates the process of inviting tableau proposals for participation” in the Republic Day parade.
The participants have to showcase elements relevant to their state/ UT/ department, within the overarching theme. The theme given to participants this year was around 75 years of India’s Independence.
The tableaux of two different states/ UTs cannot be too similar, as the tableaux, together, should showcase the diversity of the country.
The tableaux cannot have any writing or use of logos, except for the name of the state/ UT/ department, which should be written in Hindi on the front, English on the back, and a regional language on the sides.
If there is a traditional dance involved with the tableau, it should be a folk dance, and the costumes and musical instruments should be traditional and authentic. The proposal should include a video clipping of the dance.
The Defence Ministry provides each participant with one tractor and one trailer, and the tableau should fit on that. The ministry prohibits use of any additional tractor or trailer, or even any other vehicle to be part of it. However, the participant can replace their ministry-provided tractor or trailer with other vehicles, but the total number should not be more than two vehicles.
The dimensions of the trailer on which the tableau will be placed is 24 feet, 8 inches long; eight feet wide; four feet two inches high; with a load bearing capacity of 10 tonnes. The tableaux should not be more than 45 feet long, 14 feet wide and 16 feet high from the ground.
About Shree Narayan Guru:
Narayana Guru was a philosopher, spiritual leader and social reformer in India.
He led a reform movement against the injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala in order to promote spiritual enlightenment and social equality.
It was he who propagated the motto, One Caste, One Religion, One God for All.