First ever Ladakh tableau to participate in Republic Day parade

In a first, a tableau from newly created Union Territory of Ladakh will participate in the Republic Day Parade on Rajpath this year.

Ladakh’s tableau depicts the iconic Thiksey Monastery located on top of a hill in Thikse in Leh district, and is one of the most-visited tourist sites in the region.

It also showcases the Indian Astronomical Observatory, located in Hanle near Leh, one of the world’s highest sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes. Ladakh tableau also highlights the vision for Ladakh to be carbon-neutral.

A total of 17 states and UTs will be represented on the Rajpath in this year’s parade through their vibrant tableaux, besides that of various ministries and the three armed forces.

However a controversy has erupted over the Ladakh tableau with the people of Kargil in Ladakh union territory complaining about the partial representation in the Ladakh tableau. The partial representation has prompted the Kargil administration to take up the matter with the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh for immediate action.

The chairman of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), KargilFeroz Ahmed Khan, has written a letter to the Lt. Governor of Ladakh, R K Mathur complaining that Kargil’s religious and cultural ethos have been ignored in the Union Territory’s Republic Day parade tableau.

Stating that since this is the first time ever that Ladakh will have a tableau of its own on Republic Day, LAHDC (Kargil) chairman Feroz Ahmed Khan said that every region should be represented on the tableau.

“It is unfortunate to note that only a single aspect of Ladakhi culture has been incorporated for display on Ladakh’s Republic Day 2021 tableau, thereby failing to showcase the rich and diverse religious-cultural fabric of Ladakh. It is felt that partial representation of the UT at an event as prominent as the Republic Day celebration alienates the people of Kargil district,” Khan’s letter stated. “LAHDC, Kargil, wishes to request you to kindly pass necessary directions to the concerned for the incorporation of religious/ heritage sites and cultural ethos of Kargil district in UT Ladakh tableau,” reads the letter.

Talking to the Greater Kashmir, Chairman and Chief executive Councillor LAHDC KargilFeroz Ahmed Khan said that the tableau fails to showcase the rich and diverse religious-cultural fabric of Ladakh. Khan said it has been done without any consultation or suggestions from the administration of LAHDC Kargil.

“We have registered our protest, adding that a written communication has been also sent to Lieutenant Governor Ladakh for consideration and necessary action,” Khan said.

He said that the “partial representation of the UT at an event as prominent as the Republic Day celebration has disappointed and alienated the people of Kargil district”.

Prominent social and political activist from KargilSajadHussainKargili said that they have no problem with what has been showcased in the tableau but we have issues over what has not been represented in it.

Over the years, the people of Kargil have been complaining that the district in spite of being more populous than Leh, is being ignored in various aspects and Leh is being projected as Ladakh.

“The tableau been made by the UT admin. which deliberately ignores the patriotic sentiments of the majority in Ladakh” said Kargili.  The union territory of Ladakh was carved out of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state on October 31, 2019, and has been functioning as a separate Centrally-governed union territory, after the BJP-led Central government re-organised Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.

The union territory includes Budhisht-dominated Leh district and Muslim-majority Kargil district.