This year, the Republic Day Parade will witness major changes in view of the Covid protocols. Republic Day celebrations of this year will be different from all the previous occasions. The outbreak of coronavirus has left the world rattled. The discovery of new COVID strain has also affected the Republic Day plans of India.
There will be few new additions to this year’s celebrations, let us take a look at the things that will be different from the previous years. Moreover, this year most of us will be staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. While staying at home make your Republic day special with the best online offers.
Shorter Parade Distance
The Republic Day Parade 2021 will not culminate at the Red First. It is the first time in the history of Republic Day that the parade will start from Vijay Chowk and end at the National Stadium. The distance of the Parade has been reduced from 8.2 kilometers to 3.3 kilometers.
Fewer people will witness the parade at Rajpath this year. The government is following strict social distancing protocols due to the pandemic. The Parade will be shorter with smaller marching contingents. Narendra Modi’s vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat will feature in this year's celebrations.
Participation of Rafale Jets
The Rafale fighter jets that have been inducted into the Indian Air Force recently will participate in the parade. "The flypast will culminate with a single Rafale aircraft carrying out a 'Vertical Charlie' formation." The fighter jets were purchased from France. So far 11 of the Rafale Jets have been inducted in to the IAF.
Reduction in Marching Contingents
The number of members in contingents has been reduced to 96 from 144. The size of contingents is reformulated to 12×8 rows and columns in place of 12×12. This reduction is also because of the decision to maintain social distancing between the marching contingents which will be placed at a longer distance.
In view of the 50th anniversary of the 1971 war, a contingent of Bangladesh armed forces will also participate in the parade.
Fewer Spectators to Witness the Parade
The number of spectators has been reduced from 1,15,000 to 25,000. Also, children below 15 years of age will not be allowed entry into the event. There will a change in the patterns of the Republic Day parade as well. All marching contingents and performers will be seen wearing masks. The cultural programs that are a major attraction of the parade have been cut-down as well.
1st woman fighter pilot to take part in R Day parade
Meanwhile, Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth is the first woman fighter pilot to be a part of R-Day Parade this year. Bhawana Kanth will be a part of the IAF’s tableau that showcases mock-ups of the light combat aircraft. She is one of the first women fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force. She is posted at an airbase in Rajasthan where she flies the MiG-21 Bison fighter plane. Bhawana Kanth was inducted into the IAF in 2016 along with Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh. It is a pride moment for the entire country.
No Chief Guest
UK Prime Minister Borris Johnson was expected to the Chief Guest of Republic Day Parade 2021. But he has to cancel his visit due to the new COVID strain in the United Kingdom. In a press release, the UK Foreign Office said "The decision to cancel the visit has been taken because of the new variant of the coronavirus due to which the pandemic has escalated in the United Kingdom.
The last time Republic Day had no chief guest was 1966. The years 1952 and 1953 also did not have a Chief Guest. Republic Day Parade is a key event in the diplomatic relations of India. A foreign dignitary is invited as a chief guest since the first republic day.
The parade showcases the might of miltary and cultural diversity of the country. The 72nd Republic Day will be different due to the decisions taken in wake of coronavirus. Moreover, the Republic Day Parade will be of a shorter duration as well. Despite the Covid restrictions, the overall traditional character of the Republic Day Parade would be maintained.