India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day today amid COVID-19 pandemic
- 400 performers, which include students, have been shortlisted for the parade
- The performaces will be themed around 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Hum Fit Toh India Fit'
- The Rafale jets will also be part of the 72nd Republic Day celebrations
India, being one of the most significant democracies in the world, has never taken a step back for celebrating its constitution. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic getting worse on a global level, the Republic Day event on Tuesday is expected to be a little less grand than the previous ones.
The preparations for the celebrations of the 72nd Republic Day remained unhindered with India all set to make historical gestures and statements through its annual parade in New Delhi.
In view of the COVID-19 restrictions, the number of school children and folk artists who perform in the parade has been limited to 400, around 200 less than the previous Republic Day celebrations.
The Ministry of Defence and Directorate of Education have shortlisted students from Delhi educational institutions like Vidya Bharti School, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, DTEA Senior Secondary School and Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre in Kolkata.
The performances are expected to be themed around two initiatives of PM Narendra Modi, 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Hum Fit Toh India Fit'.
The 72nd Republic Day will also mark the first time in decades that no international dignitary or representative will be attending the ceremony. British PM Boris Johnson initially accepted the invitation to be the chief guest but later had to cancel due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the UK.
The India Air Force will also be demonstrating its strength and living up to its motto of "Nabham Sparsham Deeptam". The newly inducted Rafale jets are also set to feature in the historical Republic Day parade of India. Moreover, flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth will be adding grace to the celebrations by being the first woman fighter pilot as a part of the parade.
Reports suggest that the parade this year is likely to be of a shorter distance and is expected to start from Vijay Chowk and terminate at the National Stadium instead of the Red Fort.