India will be witnessing two big events on Tuesday--first, its 72nd Republic Day celebrations, and second, protesting farmers' tractor parades. With this, a five-layer security cover has been deployed in and around the city to maintain law and order.
The Republic Day parade will start at 9 AM conclude after the traditional fly past 11.25 AM because of the coronavirus outbreak. The ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial. As per tradition, the national flag will be unfurled followed by the national anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute.
This year's celebration at Delhi's Rajpath will not see any chief guest, only a few spectators, no children under 15 in the parade, and a shorter route for parade.
In more than five decades, this year's parade will be the first Republic Day parade to be organised without a chief guest. Before this, there were no chief guests during the Republic Day parade in 1952, 1953 and 1966.
However, like every year, the nation's armed forces will once again take centre-stage on Rajpath with the third-generation Russian T-90 battle tank, the T-72 bridge-layer tank, the BMP-2 armoured personnel carrier, the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher, and the land-attack variant of BrahMos among the equipment that will be on display.
Besides, newly inducted 11 Rafale Jets will also participate in this year's parade. First woman fighter pilot Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth will also be a part of the Republic Day parade. She will be a part of the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) tableau that will showcase mock-ups of the light combat aircraft, light combat helicopter and the Sukhoi-30 fighter plane.
In another first, a tableau of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is also participating in the Republic Day parade. Moreover, the upgraded Schilika weapon system will roll down in Rajpath for the first time this year, led by the only woman contingent commander from the army.
A total of 32 tableaux -- 17 of various states and UTs, nine of ministries and six from defence arm -- will roll down Rajpath. Uttar Pradesh's tableau will feature a replica of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
A 122-member contingent of the Bangladeshi armed forces will also march on Rajpath, led by Lieutenant Colonel Mohatsim Haider Chaudhary.
India is currently celebrating the Swarnim Vijay Varsh - Golden Jubilee year - commemorating the country's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.