New Delhi, January 4: Indians at home and on Rajpath would witness a shorter Republic Day parade this year on January 26. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the government will scale down the number of visitors and children below 15 years and the elderly with co-morbidities won't be allowed at the Republic Day 2021 parade, according to a report. The number of participants in the marching contingents will also be reduced.

"The parade will begin from Vijay Chowk, as usual, but will culminate at the National Stadium instead of ending at the Red Fort. So, it will cover a distance of 3.3 km as compared to the normal 8.2 km," an official was quoted by TOI as saying. Unlike previous years when over 1 lakh visitors would witness the parade, only around 25,000 spectators will be allowed this year, according to the official. Republic Day 2021: West Bengal Govt to Showcase 'Sabooj Sathi' Scheme Tableau at January 26 Parade in Delhi.

Despite restrictions, the "overall traditional character" of the parade, which showcases the country's military might and cultural diversity, "will however be maintained", the official stressed. These steps will be taken to avoid overcrowding and ensure social distancing at the Republic Day parade event amid the COVID-19 outbreak and concerns over the new virus strains. While UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest, a contingent of the Bangladesh armed forces will take part in the parade in view of the 50th year of Indian victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. India's win had led to the formation of Bangladesh.

After facing defeat in the 1971 war, the then Pakistan Army chief General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with his 93,000 troops, surrendered to allied forces, which also comprised Indian Army personnel. India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day on January 26 this year, honouring the historic date when the country completed its transition towards becoming an independent republic after the Constitution came into effect.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 04, 2021 12:03 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website