On 15th August 2020, India enters its 75th year of independence. The monumental Red Fort of Delhi was the center stage once again as PM Narendra Modi hoisted the national flag for the seventh time. The celebrations this year are mute and lack the pomp and show from previous editions. This is the second independence day of Modi’s second term in the Prime Minister’s office. However, facing a pandemic is undoubtedly changing the ways of celebration.
Usually, hundreds of thousands gather in front of Red Fort in Delhi to listen to their Prime Minister and enjoy their day of freedom. But this year, only diplomats, officials, and media personnel were present to attend the auspicious ceremony. A safety protocol to ensure the social distancing was also mandatory. Moreover, every face was hiding behind the protective mask to stay safe from COVID-19. Amidst the rising number of cases, India is taking strict actions to ensure optimal public safety standards.
PM Modi was very positive in his independence day speech while mentioning the efforts of the scientists in developing a COVID vaccine. He said that three different vaccines are currently under various stages of trials, and India hopes to make them available to the masses as they get approval. Independence Day celebrations all over the country were a shadow of the yesteryear’s ceremonies. In most of the states, the flag hoisting ceremony with a few hundreds marked the occasion.
India’s Independence Day celebrations were unique this year following the “new normal” code of conduct. The corona effect was visible everywhere in the country. The exclusive guest list of Red Fort audience was sitting six feet apart. Masks covering each face and the absent children made the environment even more eerie. However, 500 NCC cadets tried to make up for the lost crowd of students. Most ministers, including the President of India, organized the “in-house” celebrations.
Moreover, the erroneous tweeting habits of the President of the United States were once again in the highlight. President Donald Trump wrote a tweet congratulating India on their 75th Independence Day a year early. However, this is not unique that a factually wrong tweet has embarrassed the White House. President Trump is infamous for his controversial tweets, so this one came as no surprise. There was not much hoodoo about the tweet other. It looks like people have now accepted this as a part of his nature, and they don’t care about correcting him either.
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Elsewhere, congratulations poured in India from every corner of the world. Most of the world leaders personally made contact with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to congratulate him. Modi’s hold in international relations was once again evident in this year’s independence day celebrations.