New Delhi: India is celebrating its 72nd Republic Day on Tuesday, but this year’s grand parade will not be the same as it is for the first time that it will be held amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed many lives across the country. Also Read - Burj Khalifa Lights up With Tricolour to Celebrate India's 72nd Republic Day

After more than 5 decades, the country’s 72nd R-Day parade will have no chief guest. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due to be in New Delhi as the chief guest at the annual parade to mark the Republic Day but he had to call off the visit to focus on the domestic crisis unleashed by the emergence of a new, deadlier variant of coronavirus in the UK at the end of last year. Also Read - What is Nishan Sahib, The Flag Hoisted by Protesting Farmers at Red Fort?

Besides, gravity-defying stunts by motorcycle-borne men, a major attraction for the crowd at Republic Day celebrations on the Rajpath, will be missing this year.  The spectator size too has been reduced to 25,000. Also Read - Music Group Creates 'Saare Jahaan Se Achha' Using Sounds of Animals, Video Goes Viral | Watch

Apart from these, the parade of gallantry awardees and children who have earned bravery awards will also not be there at the 72nd Republic Day event, on account of social distancing.

This year’s Republic Day is very different as it is happening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Like in Independence Day, all chairs in enclosures will be placed following social distancing norms. So the crowd size has come down to 25,000 this time from around 1.25 lakh last year or some of the previous years. The number of enclosures has also been halved to just 19,” said a senior official