The tableau of the Union Territory of Ladakh, which was created in 2019 after the abolition of Article 370, was shown in this year’s parade in a premiere. The tableau highlighted the vision that Ladakh should be climate-neutral and exemplary for the world.

Uttar Pradesh’s tableau showed the state’s cultural city of Ayodhya and the Ram Temple under construction. In the first part of the tableau Maharishi Valmiki was shown composing the Ramayana. In the middle part of the tableau Shri Ram Mandir was presented, the epitome of Ayodhya’s cultural identity, which is associated with mass feelings and devotion.

As every year, the armed forces of the nation on Delhi’s legendary Rajpath were once again the focus, with the Russian T. -90 battle tank of the third generation, the T-72 bridge tank, the BMP-2 armored personnel carrier. The Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher and the land attack variant of BrahMos are among the devices on display.

India’s new Rafale fighter plane soared into the sky and ended the flight past with the challenging and spectacular “Vertical Charlie” formation, in which the Aircraft flies at low altitudes, rises vertically and rolls several times before stabilizing at higher altitudes.

History was also made today when Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth – the first Indian woman to qualify for a combat mission in a fighter jet – as first participated in the flight paste. A total of 38 Air Force and four Army aircraft took part in the flight past.

Marching contingents from Army, Navy and Air Force were on display, albeit in reduced numbers to ensure social distancing. The Army and Navy each had 96 soldiers (instead of 144), while the Air Force contingent consisted of 94 soldiers.

The Indian Navy panel showed models of INS Vikrant and naval operations carried out during the India-Pakistan War in 1971 . The front part shows the attack on the port of Karachi, while the rear part shows the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier carrying out operations that “have contributed immensely to victory at sea”.

As part of Covid’s security protocols, all army soldiers became kept in bio-bubbles – nobody was allowed to get in or out of the car without exception Other precautionary measures from Covid include limiting the number of participants in Rajpath to 25,000 (all seated) instead of 1.15 lakh, reducing the number of school children from 600 last year to 160 (none under 15) and requiring everyone – spectators and participants – to wear a face mask.

The 2021 Republic Day parade began with a 122-strong contingent of the Bangladeshi Armed Forces – led by Lieutenant Colonel Mohatsim Haider Chaudhary. The first six ranks of the contingent were led by the army, followed by two ranks each by the navy and the air force. “The contingent in Bangladesh will bear the legacy of the legendary Muktijoddhas who liberated Bangladesh in 1971,” the PTI news agency quoted the Ministry of Defense as saying.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson should be the main guest. However, Mr Johnson was forced to cancel his visit after a mutant strain of coronavirus affected tens of thousands in that country, resulting in a new and more stringent lockdown. Mr Johnson would have been the second British Prime Minister to be the main guest in a Republic Day parade. The first was John Major in 1993. Last year, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the main guest.

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