This year’s Republic Day will be celebrated in the agony of furious farmers who are strictly against the new farmer law. Last time too, it was celebrated under the agitation of raging protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act bill passed by the Centre. This time, farmers mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at the borders of Delhi continuously for more than two months, demanding abolishment of three farm laws. This year’s Republic Day parade will be the first major public event in pandemic times.
What is going to be new this year?
This time there will be a reduction in the number of spectators, group of marching soldiers, and other decorative arrangements. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the size of the spectators has been slashed to 25,000 from 1.25 lakh compared to last year. In fact, there is a huge dropping in the number of seats for the general public, that is, it has been limited to 4,500 this year. By keeping in mind social distancing being the number one priority at a time like this, the size of marching contingents has been reduced to 96 from 144. Unfortunately, we will not see those gravity-defying stunts by motorcycle-borne men.
It has been decided that the parade will cut short this year. The marching will end before the Red Fort, that is, at National Stadium. Those conspicuous Tableaux will be there for our entertainment and will be performing at Red Fort. The best catch is that among the 32 tableaux in the parade, the Union Territory of Ladakh will be participating for the first time. It will be showcasing one of the world’s highest sites for optical, infrared, and gamma-ray telescopes – The Indian Astronomical Observatory, located at Hanle near Leh.
Are we having a chief guest this year?
For the first time in 55 years, there will be no chief guest, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his regrets for not becoming a part of this year’s parade due to the rising cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom.
Are farmers willing to disrupt the rally?
The farmers got the permission from Delhi police to continue their rally peacefully after the completion of the official parade on the Rajpath. Farmers union leaders promised that the rally will be carried out peacefully and they will not divert from their pre-decided route. The security of the capital has been taken off by Delhi Police by deploying five-layer security in and around the city to maintain law and order. Sources say that over 40,000 police officers, along with ITBP and CRPF personnel will be deployed at Singh, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders.