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Republic day celebrations amidst the new coronavirus strain

It’d be safe to say on behalf of everybody that the year 2020 has been weird. Weird but awakening. I mean, when was the last time you realised you could celebrate birthdays without the loud noises and dresses, and still have fun? Things were different in 2020 and thus, so were the festivals. Be it national holidays or the crowd fests like Diwali, people preferred sitting at their homes and celebrating from a safe distance, in the ‘new-normal’ manner.

Well, as they say, new beginnings bring new hopes. 2021 is that new beginning for us. But, new year, new virus? The new strain of the virus that was first identified in the UK has found its way to other countries, including India. We’re a just few days into 2021, and the odds don’t seem to be in our favour.

Don’t get all shady, we have some positives too.

With whatever 2020 threw at us, it made us realise how important it is to learn and make amends. We made mistakes and we learnt from them and altered them. Even though the road to go back is a tough one, we’re well on our way. But what if we still don’t learn? What if we make the same mistakes all over again? Would we be able to expect a different result? Well, I guess not. The republic day celebrations would be that for the country. Here’s how.

Republic day marks the proclamation of purna samraj as opposed to the dominion rule imposed by the British regime and thus, is celebrated with a very traditional character that aims to represent the cultural diversities of this beautiful country. We wouldn’t have expected anything less than extravagant marches and parades and people cheering their hearts out, had it not been for the new virus coexisting with its predecessor.

However, the country is still about to experience these marches, parades and cheers. The government has decided to withhold the republic day celebrations in the same manner, representing the country’s cultural integrity and military might, despite the COVID-19 restrictions. The parade, however, is said to be of a shorter duration than usual, with smaller military marching groups. Restrictions, as necessitated by the pandemic, would be in place implying distancing and thus, fewer spectators. The event is said to take place in Delhi’s Rajpath with UK’s prime minister, Mr. Boris Johnson as the chief guest, who has now, by the way, declined this offer citing the quintessential covid-19 management that needs to be done in his own country. 

A statement from the officials claimed, “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.” The spectator count is reduced to 25000 people, barring children below 15 years of age to enter.

Now, here’s some things that should be worrying us-

More than 150 military personnel have already contracted the virus during practice for the republic day parade, despite the COVID-19 protocols in place. Not just that, there are numerous incidents of the virus spreading even after the restrictions because in a crowded country like India, it is difficult to contain movement and thus, the spread of virus. Rooting in from these experiences, the chances of adversities happening during the republic day celebrations are much more than the contradictory, no matter how accomplished it sounds on paper.

The new strain of virus was first identified in the UK and became the most common version of virus in the country accounting to about 60% of the active cases. It is also suggested that this new strain is 70% more contagious as compared to the previous one and has spread a lot faster in areas it has been contracted. Now, for its relevance to the topic- 4 passengers in the UK-India flight were tested positive for this new strain of the virus. What started from 4 has now taken the face of 58, in less than a week. Considering how transmissible this is, it would be safe to say India is not ready to fight this. The chief guest for this republic day, prime minister of UK, Mr. Boris Johnson’s advent can be a very dangerous one considering even after protocols, the outcomes are almost always uncertain. For reference, recall the then USA President Donald Trump’s visit to India.

UK has been sent into complete lockdown since more than 25000 people have been hospitalised due to this new strain and the PM also needs to focus on the BREXIT situation currently happening in the UK. For India, the national capital is observing frivolous protests by the farmers for more than a month now and looking at the current situation, assuming that it would continue till the republic day wouldn’t be too bold. Since the domestic situations, despite the pandemic is this sensitive, it would be any day better to withhold the celebrations for some time.

In conclusion, I think it is imperative to point that republic day is indeed a big deal for the country and its people and every citizen wants to celebrate it to the fullest extent. However, desperate times do call for desperate measures and 2020 has been nothing but desperate. This article doesn’t suggest that the republic day shouldn’t be celebrated altogether. It is just a call for change. A change in the mode of celebration. A virtual celebration of republic day, with the usual customs being carried out through screens, flag being hoisted by the PM alone and the country watching virtually on their TV screens. After all, virtual is the new reality, right? And if not this, there would be innumerable more methods that can be devised to carry out the event virtually. Any method that makes sure the event is virtual and at a safe distance, for its participants as well as the spectators.  It’s just how we can ensure the safety of our people and the country. No matter how different it would feel, it’s time we start placing safety over anything else, right?

 

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It’d be safe to say on behalf of everybody that the year 2020 has been weird. Weird but awakening. I mean, when was the last time you realised you could celebrate birthdays without the loud noises and dresses, and still have fun? Things were different in 2020 and thus, so were the festivals. Be it national holidays or the crowd fests like Diwali, people preferred sitting at their homes and celebrating from a safe distance, in the ‘new-normal’ manner.

Well, as they say, new beginnings bring new hopes. 2021 is that new beginning for us. But, new year, new virus? The new strain of the virus that was first identified in the UK has found its way to other countries, including India. We’re a just few days into 2021, and the odds don’t seem to be in our favour.

Don’t get all shady, we have some positives too.

With whatever 2020 threw at us, it made us realise how important it is to learn and make amends. We made mistakes and we learnt from them and altered them. Even though the road to go back is a tough one, we’re well on our way. But what if we still don’t learn? What if we make the same mistakes all over again? Would we be able to expect a different result? Well, I guess not. The republic day celebrations would be that for the country. Here’s how.

Republic day marks the proclamation of purna samraj as opposed to the dominion rule imposed by the British regime and thus, is celebrated with a very traditional character that aims to represent the cultural diversities of this beautiful country. We wouldn’t have expected anything less than extravagant marches and parades and people cheering their hearts out, had it not been for the new virus coexisting with its predecessor.

However, the country is still about to experience these marches, parades and cheers. The government has decided to withhold the republic day celebrations in the same manner, representing the country’s cultural integrity and military might, despite the COVID-19 restrictions. The parade, however, is said to be of a shorter duration than usual, with smaller military marching groups. Restrictions, as necessitated by the pandemic, would be in place implying distancing and thus, fewer spectators. The event is said to take place in Delhi’s Rajpath with UK’s prime minister, Mr. Boris Johnson as the chief guest, who has now, by the way, declined this offer citing the quintessential covid-19 management that needs to be done in his own country. 

A statement from the officials claimed, “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.” The spectator count is reduced to 25000 people, barring children below 15 years of age to enter.

Now, here’s some things that should be worrying us-

More than 150 military personnel have already contracted the virus during practice for the republic day parade, despite the COVID-19 protocols in place. Not just that, there are numerous incidents of the virus spreading even after the restrictions because in a crowded country like India, it is difficult to contain movement and thus, the spread of virus. Rooting in from these experiences, the chances of adversities happening during the republic day celebrations are much more than the contradictory, no matter how accomplished it sounds on paper.

The new strain of virus was first identified in the UK and became the most common version of virus in the country accounting to about 60% of the active cases. It is also suggested that this new strain is 70% more contagious as compared to the previous one and has spread a lot faster in areas it has been contracted. Now, for its relevance to the topic- 4 passengers in the UK-India flight were tested positive for this new strain of the virus. What started from 4 has now taken the face of 58, in less than a week. Considering how transmissible this is, it would be safe to say India is not ready to fight this. The chief guest for this republic day, prime minister of UK, Mr. Boris Johnson’s advent can be a very dangerous one considering even after protocols, the outcomes are almost always uncertain. For reference, recall the then USA President Donald Trump’s visit to India.

UK has been sent into complete lockdown since more than 25000 people have been hospitalised due to this new strain and the PM also needs to focus on the BREXIT situation currently happening in the UK. For India, the national capital is observing frivolous protests by the farmers for more than a month now and looking at the current situation, assuming that it would continue till the republic day wouldn’t be too bold. Since the domestic situations, despite the pandemic is this sensitive, it would be any day better to withhold the celebrations for some time.

In conclusion, I think it is imperative to point that republic day is indeed a big deal for the country and its people and every citizen wants to celebrate it to the fullest extent. However, desperate times do call for desperate measures and 2020 has been nothing but desperate. This article doesn’t suggest that the republic day shouldn’t be celebrated altogether. It is just a call for change. A change in the mode of celebration. A virtual celebration of republic day, with the usual customs being carried out through screens, flag being hoisted by the PM alone and the country watching virtually on their TV screens. After all, virtual is the new reality, right? And if not this, there would be innumerable more methods that can be devised to carry out the event virtually. Any method that makes sure the event is virtual and at a safe distance, for its participants as well as the spectators.  It’s just how we can ensure the safety of our people and the country. No matter how different it would feel, it’s time we start placing safety over anything else, right?

 

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