With just one day to go for the 72nd Republic Day 2021, the citizens of India are set to be drenched in colors of patriotism and witness the military and cultural prowess India has during its annual parade. However, this year’s Republic Day parade will be different from any parade the nation has seen. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the farmer’s protest, the nation will witness a parade unlike ever before.  

Here are all the things that will make this year’s R-Day parade different due to the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • Lesser number of spectators, smaller parade distance 

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has taken the decision of not having more than 25,000 people as spectators of the Republic Parade. To put this into perspective, every year close to 1,50,000 spectators were allowed to witness the parade. Additionally, the parade will conclude at Delhi’s National Stadium instead of concluding at Red Fort where it usually ends every year. The distance has been reduced to 50%.  

  • No Chief Guests in R-Day Parade After 50 Years 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic swept over the world, the R-Day parade would initiate and conclude without a chief guest. This is the first time India hasn’t hosted a chief guest in 50 years. Earlier United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson had accepted India’s nation to be a chief guest. But due to the new strain of the COVID-19 virus, Johnson cancelled his visit.  

  • Reduction in Contingent Strength 

As anticipated, the contingent strength of soldiers who are to take part in the parade has also been reduced from 144 to 96. These soldiers will be wearing masks and will follow the guidelines of social distancing while being in the 12×8 contingent. Meaning, instead of 144 soldiers, this year 96 soldiers will be in one contingent.  

  • CRPF Tableau to Show Their Strength 

For the first time in history, the Central Reserve Police Force will have its own tableau in the Republic Day parade. 

According to RK Yadav, Inspector General, Training, “This year we will be having our own tableau and its theme will be combat skills of CRPF in conflict zones. Also, this year, all jawans will be wearing masks and will be maintaining social distancing as told by the government.” 

The CRPF tableau will also showcase the panoramic four-eyed night vision goggles (NGV). These NGVs are similar to the ones that are used by the Navy SEALs in the United States. These goggles enable the soldiers to have a 120-degree vision at night. 

  • Bangladeshi Contingent To Take Part in R-Day parade for the first time 

A tri-service contingent from Bangladesh will lead the Republic Day parade. The Bangladeshi soldiers will be in the first ten rows of the parade and will commemorate the 50 years of the Liberation War. This is how the confinement will be distributed:  

  • The first six rows will have soldiers from Bangladesh Army. 
  • The next two rows will have soldiers from the Bangladesh Navy.
  • The remaining two rows will have soldiers from the Bangladesh Air-Force.
  • No Motorcycle Stunts

A lot of people who look forward to gravity-defying stunts by brave men on motorcycle will be disappointed this year. Due to the COVID-19 safety norms, there will not be any motorcycle stunts in the parade this year. An official spoke to the Press Trust of India and said, “these decisions have been taken because it is not possible to maintain social distancing while performing group stunts or awardees riding a jeep together during the parade.”

  • IAF to participate in fly-past, Newly inducted Rafale to form ‘Vertical Charlie’ 

38 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft and 4 helicopters from the Army will take part in a fly-past at the Republic parade. These aircraft will woo the spectators by forming 4 formations in the sky called ‘Rudra’, ‘Sudarshan’, ‘Rakshak’, ‘Eklavya’, and ‘Brahmastra.  

The special attraction in the parade would be the newly introduced Rafale fighter aircraft culminating the fly-past and creating a ‘Vertical Charlie’ formation. 

  • CBSE 12th Exam Topper Divyangi Tripathi and other meritorious students to sit in PM’s Box

The CBSE 12th class topper from Gorakhpur, Divyangi Tripathi, has been invited by the PMO to witness the Republic Day parade and sit at the Prime Minister’s Box. She will be joined by other meritorious students that made the nation proud from all across the country. Divyangi Tripathi was 12th Class nation-wide topper scoring 99.6 % in the CBSE exams.

  • Tableaus will feature COVID-19 vaccine development efforts, Ram Mandi, Kedarkhand and more

For R-Day 2021’s parade, Uttar Pradesh’s tableau will feature a Ram Mandir replica that is under construction. The tableau will feature the art, culture and other showcase worthy aspects of Ayodhya and the temple itself.  

From Punjab, a tableau reflecting the sacrifices and good deeds of the ninth Sikh Guru Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur will be showcased.  

Uttarakhand, which was in news for having a new CM appointed for just one day, will have a tableau that will showcase the beauty of ‘Kedarkhand’. According to reports, the front portion of the tableau will display musk deer, which is the state animal, and Monal, which is the state bird. Besides this, a model of Kedarnath will be displayed along with devotees.  

There will be another interesting tableau this year. Ministry of Science’s Department of Biotechnology will have its own tableau this year. The tableau will feature the vaccine development process through various methods.  

Now that we know what we can expect from the 72nd Republic Day of India, let’s take a step back and look at the origin of Republic Day. 

Indian Republic Day Origin: 

After receiving Independence on 15th August 1947 from the Britishers, Indian leaders realized how the nation needs a constitution that can protect the rights of its citizens and empower them. To create this constitution, a Drafting Committee met for the first time on 29th August 1947. 

This committee was responsible to create a “draft of the text of the Constitution of India prepared by Constitutional Adviser” and “giving effect to the decisions already taken in the Assembly and including all matters which are ancillary thereto or which have to be provided in such a Constitution”. 

After diligently working for more than 2 years, the committee was prepared with the draft called for. The draft was then moved to Constituent Assembly and was adopted on 26th November 1949. However, the Assembly decided that the constitution will come into effect on 26th January marking the anniversary of Purna Swaraj Diwas. 

On 26th January 1930, Indian freedom fighters drew the draft of a resolution demanding “complete freedom.” 

Also read: COVID-19 impact on Republic Day, No joint or coordinated parade at Attari border