For first time in 55 years, chief visitor unlikely at R-Day parade

FOR THE first time in 55 years, India is unlikely to have any chief visitor for the Republic Day parade, The Indian Express has learnt.

New Delhi has come round to this choice, a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday known as up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed “remorse” that he wouldn’t be capable to go to India to be chief visitor for the Republic Day celebrations. Johnson took this choice in view of the contemporary nationwide lockdown in his nation, because it responds to the brand new, extra contagious mutant pressure of the novel coronavirus.

Sources stated that will probably be troublesome to ask any overseas chief at a time when nations are nonetheless coping with the pandemic. That is additionally too brief a discover for any overseas chief to be invited. Additionally, it may very well be seen as an undiplomatic gesture to ask another person, after a pacesetter has refused to attend the celebrations.

In 1966, no invites had been despatched out as a result of demise of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on January 11, 1966 in Tashkent. The brand new authorities headed by Indira Gandhi was sworn in on January 24, 1966 – solely two days forward of the Republic Day parade.

This yr, Republic Day celebrations could also be truncated on account of the pandemic. Final yr’s Independence Day celebrations had been scaled down as nicely.

An invite to be chief visitor at India’s Republic Day is a particular honour for the visiting overseas dignitary. New Delhi has been weaving technique with hospitality whereas deciding on the chief visitor. The selection is dictated by quite a lot of elements — strategic and diplomatic, enterprise pursuits, and geo-politics.

Previously, the Indian authorities needed to search for an alternate visitor, as the primary selection couldn’t make it. In 2013, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Stated Al Stated couldn’t come because of a communication difficulty, and Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, got here for the Republic Day. Equally, in 2019, after US President Donald Trump couldn’t come, India invited South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who attended the Republic day celebrations.

However, this time, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, that appears unlikely.

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