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Constitution handover, ancient democratic traditions depicted in Culture Ministry's tableau

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Culture Ministry's tableau

New Delhi: The Culture Ministry's Republic Day tableau carried replicas of B R Ambedkar handing over the Constitution to the country's first president Rajendra Prasad, as well as ancient symbols that championed the democratic ethos.

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The tableau, themed 'Bharat: Mother of Democracy', rolled down Kartavya Path during the ceremonial parade on Friday with the displays mounted on two tractors.

"Bharat, the ancient land of wisdom, not only birthed profound spiritual teachings but also nurtured the seeds of democracy, flourishing long before the rest of the world recognized its significance," read the description of the tableau in the official booklet on the 75th Republic Day celebrations.

According to the description, the democratic spirit in ancient India was not merely a political ideology but a holistic ethos encompassing the realms of spirituality and society.

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The Rigveda encapsulates this essence with the timeless verse, "Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudha Vadanti," emphasising unity in diversity, a foundational principle of democracy.

"Sanskrit texts like Panini's Ashtadhyayi and Buddhist canonical works laid the groundwork for democratic ideals, while Kautilya's Arthashastra further expounded on governance principles.

"From the 5th century to the 1 millennium BCE, historical references abound, illustrating the practice of people actively choosing their leaders.

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"Inscriptions by Rudradaman I, King Kharevala, and the pillar of Samudragupta in India's golden Gupta era at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh affirm the prevalence of democratic principles," it read.

Delving into the nuances of governance, a multi-layered system called Shreni Sangha emerges, exemplified in the town of Uthiramerur in south India.

Here, historical inscriptions detail eligibility criteria for selecting candidates and methods to ensure fair elections, the description read.

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This "rich tapestry of democratic traditions" is now being presented uniquely through the tableau of two trailers and two tractors.

"The first tractor portrays the Vedic Period (5000 BCE) while its trailer houses Buddha and Jain sages promoting dialogue. The second tractor shows Indian Constitution being handed over to the first president Dr Rajendra Prasad by Dr B R Ambedkar.

"It's trailer shows displays of democratic symbols like mahajanpadas, chariot of Humpy, Constituent Assembly, elections, through curvetured (sic) LED," it added.

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