Republic Day 2022 Guest: No Foreign Chief Guest this year due to COVID

Republic Day 2022 Chief Guest: India had invited the heads of all five central Asian nations to be the Chief Guests at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26. The plans have been cancelled due to the third wave of COVID-19. 

No Foreign Chief Guest this year due to COVID
No Foreign Chief Guest this year due to COVID

Republic Day 2022 Chief Guest: There will be no foreign chief guest on India's Republic Day 2022 in the wake of the current surge in COVID-19 infections across the country due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19. India had invited the heads of all five central Asian nations to be the Chief Guests at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

However, as per sources, the plans have been cancelled due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and there will be no foreign chief guest this year. The leaders of the five Central Asian nations-Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan were supposed to also hold a summit with PM Modi to celebrate 30 years of establishment of ties. The summit is now likely to take place virtually. 

The month of January was expected to be a heavy month with several diplomatic visits planned including PM Modi's visit to UAE, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Vietnam and the vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, which was supposed to host investors and heads of state from across the world. All such visits have been either postponed or canceled due to the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the country. 

Second consecutive Republic Day with no Foreign Chief Guest

This will be the second year in a row when India will not have any foreign dignitary as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. In 2021 as well India had no foreign head of state as the Chief Guest for the Republic Day event. India had invited British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the Chief Guest last year but he could not take part due to the COVID-19 crisis in the United Kingdom at that time. 

This is the first time in decades that India will not be hosting a head of the state during the Republic Day Parade no two years in a row. The last time this happened was the years 1952 and 1953. The year 1966 was the last time before 2021 when India did not host any Head of State during the Republic Day parade. It was in 1966 when the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had suddenly died in Tashkent and new PM Indira Gandhi was sworn in just two days before Republic day, on January 24, 1966.

Foreign heads of state have graced India's Republic Day celebrations every year barring 1952, 1953 and 1966 and now 2021 and 2022. Indonesian President Sukarno was the first-ever foreign chief guest to grace India's Republic Day in 1950. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the last chief guest at the 2020 Republic Day celebrations.

Republic Day 2022 Celebrations 

The Republic Day 2022 celebrations will begin from January 23rd to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary as well. A total of 600 artists are expected to perform on Republic Day. 

All frontline workers, sanitation workers, construction workers and auto-rickshaw drivers have been invited to this year’s Republic Day celebrations. They will all be fully vaccinated to be able to attend the Republic Day celebrations.

The performing artists will not be allowed to meet anyone, will have to remain isolated and will travel only in sanitised vehicles to avoid getting an infection. 

Republic Day 2022 time

•   In another first in 75 years, Republic Day Parade 2022 will not start at the scheduled time of 10 am but with a 30-minute delay due to Covid-19 restrictions and to pay homage to Jammu and Kashmir security personnel. 

•   The Republic Day Parade 2022 will start at 10.30 am this year. Before the parade begins this year, homage will be paid to security personnel who lost their life in Jammu and Kashmir in the line of duty. 

•   The whole Republic Day 2022 will be 90-minute-long just like last year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting the National War Memorial near the India Gate. 

•   The contingents will march past later followed by tableaus showcasing cultural diversity, social and economic progress.

•   While the Tableaus will go till Red Fort and will be parked there for public display but the marching contingents will only go till the National Stadium. 

Prohibitory order issued against flying of drones, hot air balloons for 27 days 

The Delhi Police has issued an order prohibiting the flying of any sort of aerial platform including hot air balloons, para-gliders, para-motors, microlight aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft for 27 days starting from January 20 to mitigate any sort of aerial threat during Republic Day 2022 celebrations. 

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