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Republic Day celebrations amidst the Pandemic and the Protests

This Republic Day will be quite different from any other republic day that was previously celebrated in the country. This 72nd republic day will be the first significant event on a national scale, held after the COVID – 19 outbreak.

The many changes this year are deletions from the usual schedule, along with some new additions. Masks have become mandatory for all the individuals present in the Republic day celebration at the  NCR.

This Republic Day parade will also be unique because it will be held simultaneously with the protesting countryside farmers in the national capital against the Centre’s new agricultural laws.

Bangladesh’s Army is also taking part in India’s Republic Day parade this year. This will be the third time a foreign country’s Army has taken part in the parade.

MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) has decided that, amidst the pandemic, no chief guests from other country’s will be invited to observe the ceremony.

The changes that made to the Republic day parade will include a smaller marching contingent, consisting of only 144 personnel instead of 96 last year.

The parade, which used to start from Vijay Chowk and finish at Red Fort, covering a total distance of 8.2 km until last year, will follow a shorter route. It will begin at Vijay Chowk but will be wrapped up in the National stadium, only covering 3 km this time.

CAPF motorcycle stunts, which were very popular with the spectators, stands to be cancelled this year.

Fewer spectators are permitted to watch the Republic Day parade in the physical environment. Only 25,000 viewers are allowed to be present physically and watch the parade.

Seating arrangements for dignitaries were made at the occasion by keeping social distancing norms in mind.

Interestingly, the tableaux (also know as Jhanki) from different states will perform at the Red Fort. Among 32 Jhankiyas, Ladakh will also perform for the first time after the new Union territory formation, which will show India Astronomical Observatory at Hanle near Leh, showcasing the world’s largest optical, infrared, and gamma rays’ telescopes.

Delhi Police will be responsible for the security of the event. Around 87,000 police personnel (up from last year, which was about 65,000) will be on duty amidst raging protests at the capital.