Today, the Indian Republic Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm all over the country and especially in the capital, New Delhi where the celebrations start with the Presidential to the nation. The beginning of the occasion is always a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defense of sovereignty of their country. Then, the President comes forward to award the medals of bravery to the people from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also the civilians, who have distinguished themselves by their different acts of valour in different situations.
To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, from the Rajghat, along the Vijaypath. The different regiments of the army, the Navy and the Air force march past in all their finery and official decorations even the horses of the cavalry are attractively caparisoned to suit the occasion. The creme of N.C.C cadets, selected from all over the country consider it an honour to participate in this event, as do the school children from various schools in the capital. They spend many days preparing for the event and no expense is spared to see that every detail is taken care of, from their practice for the drills, the essential props and their uniforms.
The parade is followed by a pageant of spectacular displays from the different states of the country. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion. The parade and the ensuing pageantry is telecast by the National Television and is watched by millions of viewers in every corner of the country.
The patriotic fervor of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.
Republic Day 2021 Chief Guest:
- 2021: No Guest
- 2020: President Jair Bolsonaro [Brazil] – 3rd Invitation
- 2019: President Cyril Ramaphosa [South Africa] – 2nd Invitation
The celebrations for this year’s Republic Day are set to take place on Tuesday, January 26 – the day the Constitution of India came into force in 1950. Unlike every year when the Republic Day parade is attended by over one lakh people, this year celebrations will be toned down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, just like every year Republic Day parade 2021 will honour the Indian armed forces and the nation’s rich culture heritage by displaying all their might.
Here’s everything you need to know about how the Republic Day parade will be celebrated this year:
Republic Day parade 2021 venue:
The official Republic Day celebrations take place every year at Rajpath in New Delhi. The 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.
Flag hoisting and parade timings:
The flag hoisting will place at 8 am on Tuesday. The parade usually begins at 9 am and ends around 11.30 am. However, due to changes in the parade lineup this year, the end timings may differ.
Where and how to watch parade 2021:
You can watch the R-Day parade live on DD News and it will also be livestreamed on Doordarshan’s YouTube as it takes place. Most Indian news channels will also be airing the Republic Day parade live.
Who is the chief guest at parade 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-19 strain in the UK. Before this, India didn’t have a chief guest for the parade in 1952, 1953 and 1966.
How many people will be allowed to attend this year?
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 be showcased?
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:
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.
No parade of gallantry awardees:
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.
Other ways 26 January Parade will be different this year:
- COVID-19 safety norms will be strictly in place throughout the event.
- India will be displaying some of its key military assets, such as T-90 tanks and BrahMos missile system, during the 72nd Republic Day celebrations, with a marching-cum-band contingent of the Bangladesh armed forces all set to take part in the ceremonial parade for the first time.
- 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 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.