New Delhi: For the first time since 1966, India to conduct Republic Day parade without chief guest. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been invited as the chief guest for the 2021 celebrations. But the British Prime Minister had informed the Indian Prime Minister that the he could not attend the celebration due to the threat of a genetically modified Covid variant.
India conducted republic day parade in January 11, 1966, without chief guest after the death of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Indira Gandhi came to power on January 24, just before Republic Day. It will be difficult to invite any foreign leader at a time when countries are still dealing with the pandemic. This is also too short a notice for any foreign leader to be invited. Also, it could be seen as an undiplomatic gesture to invite someone else, after a leader has refused to attend the celebrations. The government has reduced the time of the Republic Day parade and the number of invited dignitaries and spectators in the wake of the Covid expansion threat.