NEW DELHI: This year, India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day as it prepares to memoralize the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950. Historically, this day is observed by festivities such as the well-known Delhi Republic Day parade at Rajpath, which honours the Indian military forces and our rich cultural heritage. Usually, the parade is a lively event with more than 100,000 people attending but the celebrations will be toned down this year due to the pandemic. Here is how Republic Day will be celebrated in the midst of a pandemic:
Who is the chief guest for Republic Day 2021?
There will be no chief guest this year, making it the first Republic Day parade without a chief guest in 50 years. Initially, British PM Boris Jonhson was invited to come to India. However, he was forced to cancel his visit due to the outbreak of a new Covid strain in the UK. Before this, India didn’t have a chief guest for the parade in 1952, 1953 and 1966.
What time is the flag hoisting and Republic Day parade?
The flag hoisting event will be held at 8 am on Tuesday, January 26.
How many people are allowed to attend?
This year the spectators have been limited to 25,000 compared to 150,000 last year. Similarly, the number of media representatives has been cut from 300 to 200. Children under the age of 15 will not be allowed to attend.
What will the Republic Day parade 2021 showcase?
The Republic Day parade will begin from Rashtrapati Bhavan and end at India Gate. The route followed will be from Vijay Chowk via Rajpath, Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate Princess Palace, Tilak Marg to finally India Gate. Rafale fighter jets, instated into the Indian Air Force (IAF) last year, will take part in the parade for the first time. The parade will also be featuring one of India’s first women fighter pilots - Bhawna Kanth and a contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.
No motorcycle stunts this year
Due to COVID-19 safety norms gravity-defying stunts by motorcycle-borne men, a major attraction for the crowd at Republic Day celebrations on the Rajpath, will be missing this year, while the spectator size too has been reduced to 25,000 from 1.25 lakh last year. Besides this, the parade of gallantry awardees and children who have earned bravery awards will also not be there at the 72nd Republic Day event, on account of social distancing, officials said. The number of mediapersons invited to the ceremonial event has also been reduced.
COVID-19 safety norms will be strictly in place throughout the event.
A military band from the Bangladesh Army will also take part in the parade. This year, Bangladesh marks the 50th anniversary of its Independence. The young union territory of Ladakh is all set to make its debut in the extravaganza on Rajpath with a beautiful tableau depicting the iconic Thikse Monastery and its rich cultural heritage.
The Ministry of Information and Biotechnology will depict the 'Vocal for Local' initiative of the government.
"There will be nine tableau from ministries, including Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Electronics and IT, Ministry of Ayush, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; and six from the defence arm, including of IAF, Navy, Indian Naval Coast Guard, two from the DRDO and one from BRO (Border Roads Organisation)," the official said.
The tableau of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will showcase the efforts made by scientists to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine indigenously. The tableau would depict various stages of pre-trial and trial phases of vaccine, a scientist from the DBT said during a media preview held at a camp at Delhi Cantonment.