NEW DELHI:It is a case of divine irony. On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he wanted to visit Sabarimala Temple in Kerala to offer worship to Lord Ayyappa, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to strike off the Lord Ayyappa tableau proposed by the Kerala Government for the Republic Day parade.
Now the matter has reached the PMO and the tableau model is awaiting PM’s “divine intervention’’ to get its name cleared.
The MoD Expert Committee for the selection of R-Day tableaus had initially selected the Sabarimala theme with the representation of Lord Ayyappa in the environs of the hill shrine proposed by the Kerala Government. It was shortlisted for the model and music stages.
But the final meeting of the committee, which took place on December 14—the day Modi expressed his interest in visiting the Sabarimala shrine—decided not to include Lord Ayyappa tableau for the parade.
Modi, who was on a two-day visit to Kerala last week, had said while addressing BJP workers: “I was thinking that during the beginning of my yatra, I will begin with Sabarimala. But due to some reasons, it did not happen.”
Sources in the state government said, “It is unfortunate that Lord Ayyappa’s tableau was denied permission from the Republic Day parade even as PM publically declared his intention to visit the shrine. Now only PM can ensure that the tableaux finds a place in the parade.”