Published: 25th January 2021
What the FAQ: Why do we celebrate Republic Day on Jan 26, what will be different this year?
With the farmers' rally set to enter Delhi on Republic Day, the ongoing pandemic crisis, we explain how the celebrations will be different this year
Ahead of India's 72nd Republic Day, there are several concerns and questions on how it will be celebrated this year. Given the Coronavirus situation, the celebrations marking this day will have less fervour, a shorter time span, a lesser number of audience and no chief guest for the first time ever.
Here, we explain all the concerns raised about the Republic Day 2021 celebrations and answer the most frequently asked questions.
What is Republic Day? Why is it celebrated?
Ans: India has been celebrating Republic Day every year on January 26 to honour the date on which our Constitution came into effect. While India became independent on August 15, 1947, it did not have a permanent written constitution, and the laws in the country were based on an updated version of the British established, Government of India Act 1935. However, after a fortnight later on August 29, 1947, a Drafting Committee was appointed for the making of a proper Indian Constitution, with Dr B R Ambedkar as its chairman. It is celebrated on January 26 as on the same day in 1929, the Indian National Congress made the historical Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) from the rule of the British.
What should we expect at the celebrations of Republic Day 2021?
Ans: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year the celebrations will look a lot different in terms of audience size, marching contingents, etc. Last year there were 1.25 lakh spectators, the number has been reduced to 25,000 (4,500 tickets are for the general public) in 2021. The size of marching contingents has been reduced from 144 to just 96. This time the parade will end at National Stadium and not the Red Fort, which is a shorter distance compared to what happens every year.
Who will be the chief guests this year?
And: For the very first time in 55 years, there will be no chief guest at this year’s parade.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was earlier supposed to be the chief guest at the occasion, however he expressed 'regret' that he wouldn't be able to visit India owing to the Coronavirus situation across the world. Last year, former US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President
Messias Bolsonaro were the chief guests.
The farmers' rally is also on Republic Day. Will it disrupt any of the celebrations this year?
Ans. This is quite unlikely. The farmers' rally was allowed by the Delhi Police recently only after they agreed to begin after the completion of the official Republic Day parade on Rajpath. The farmers have also been asked not to venture beyond areas adjoining the protest sites. For Republic Day, Delhi Police has also set up five-layer security inside and around the city to ensure law and order.