Assam gets ready for 74th Independence Day as coronavirus affects overall celebration


Guwahati: The 74th Independence Day this year will be different from what we have been celebrating so far. Though national flag of different sizes, balloons, T-shirts, head gear, wrist bands and so many other Independence Day related products have flooded the markets in Guwahati, the Coronavirus pandemic has hit the celebration tempo hard.

With more than 2.4 million people in the country having tested positive for COVID-19, the celebrations will be rather subdued. As ceremonies with social distance and limited attendance are the norm, Independence Day 2020 will be no exception.

Every year, before Independence Day bulk orders for national flags would be placed by corporate offices, housing societies, schools and colleges. But this year, vendors have expressed that their sales are too low compared to what it used to be.

Also, this Independence Day will be very different – not in spirit – but in the way celebrations happen across the state. Mandatory guidelines are already placed and there are special Covid-related restrictions.

The government of Assam has relaxed its curfew timings in view of the Independence Day celebration across the state by allowing the movement of individuals from 6 AM to 5 PM on August 15.

Security has been heightened in Guwahati ahead of 74th Independence Day. On Thursday, Assam Police conducted a security check at Judges Field, where the Independence Day function is scheduled to be held.

Perhaps one of the most visible contrasts with visuals from previous years will be the use of face masks by everyone around. When it comes to the celebrations at the Judges Field, all invitees have been asked to wear masks. Also, this time, only NCC cadets have been invited for the event which usually witnesses young school children every year.

On the other hand, the Union Ministry of Tourism recently launched a series of Independence Day-themed webinars, making the event virtual. Various states have urged people to not attend public Independence Day events, and watch is through television and other available mediums.