New Delhi: The 71st Republic Day celebrations will take place across the country today. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be the chief guest at the grand Republic Day parade in the national capital, which will be a display of India’s military might as well as the country’s culture and heritage.
Notably, Sunday will also mark the first Republic Day celebrations of the new decade. This will also be the first Republic Day during the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
A thick security blanket has been thrown across the national capital in the view of celebrations, which will take place amid the ongoing protests in various parts of the city, including the one at Shaheen Bagh, against the contentious CAA-NRC-NPR combine. In order to ensure smooth celebrations, the Delhi Police issued an advisory listing various traffic restrictions that will be in place in the city.
Similarly, restrictions will be in place in various stations of the Delhi Metro as well. The entry and exit at Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhavan stations will be closed till 12 PM. Parking lots at Metro stations, too, shall remain closed till 2 PM.
Earlier, in his annual Republic Day address to the nation last night, President Ram Nath Kovind laid emphasis on the basic tenets of the Constitution, i.e justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. He also invoked Mahatma Gandhi and appealed to the youth to learn from ‘Ahimsa‘ (non-violence) gifted to humanity by the ‘Father of the Nation.’
Elsewhere, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Bolsonaro, with the two nations signing as many as 15 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs). Bolsonaro arrived on a four-day visit yesterday and is on his first visit to India.
The government on Saturday also announced the list of 141 Padma awardees-seven for Padma Vibhushan, 16 for Padma Bhushan and 118 for Padma Shri. Late former Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj were conferred a posthumous Padma Vibhushan, while Manohar Parrikar, another former Union Minister who too died last year, was conferred a posthumous Padma Bhushan.
The mega Republic Day parade will begin at Rashtrapati Bhavan and will end at India Gate, having marched at and passed through Rajpath.