Republic Day 2021 is unprecedented as it will be happening during the time of a pandemic. Keeping in mind the social distancing norms, the number of both participants and spectators has been significantly reduced in 2021. Last year, a total of 1.25 lakh spectators viewed the parade, however, this time, the number has been reduced to 25,000. This year, general public tickets have been limited to 4,500. The duration of the parade has also been shortened. The participants will not be marching up to the Red Fort this year and instead, the parade will get over at National Stadium.
One of the major changes for 2021 is that India is not hosting a chief guest for the Republic Day parade. UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was supposed to be the chief guest, could not come due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be for the first time in 55 years that there will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade. Previously, there were no chief guests in 1952, 1953 and 1966.
Several other changes have been introduced in the Republic Day parade 2021. The size of the marching contingents has been reduced in order to ensure social distancing. From 144, this year there will be 96 participants in marching contingents. Gallantry and bravery award winners will not be felicitated at the event.
Not only this, unlike last year when 300 media representatives were invited, this time the number has been reduced to 200. Motorcycle stunts will not be happening this year.
For the first time, Union Territory of Ladakh will also be showcasing its tableau among the 32 tableaux at the Republic Day parade.
Flag hoisting is expected to take place at 8 am at Rajpath, New Delhi. Usually, the parade ends around 11:30 am, however, this year, the event is expected to get over soon. The parade can be watched on the channel DD News. The live streaming will be available on the official YouTube channel of Doordarshan.