See Here Who Will Be Chief Guest of 74th Republic Day

Chief Guest of Republic Day 2024: India has happily announced that French President Emmanuel Macron will be the special guest at our Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

This is a big deal as it’s the fifth time a French leader has been honoured this way and the sixth time a French head of state will attend our celebrations since 1976.

The decision to invite Macron came after the United States couldn’t make it to our Republic Day despite our invitation to President Joe Biden.

Macron will join us as the chief guest for our 75th Republic Day at the invitation of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. This year is extra special as we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the strong partnership between India and France.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Modi was the guest of honour at Bastille Day, the French national day parade in Paris on July 14. India also had a team from our military participating in the parade. Macron visited India previously for the G20 Summit in September.

Expressing his gratitude, Macron said, “Thank you for your invitation, my dear friend PM Narendra Modi. India, on your Republic Day, I’ll be here to celebrate with you!” on X, which used to be called Twitter.

French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and François Hollande have been guests at our Republic Day celebrations before. With Macron’s presence next year, France will lead with the most invitations, surpassing even the United Kingdom.

After the U.S. declined, India had to find a replacement in a short time, and there were talks about other leaders like the U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and heads of state from some West Asian countries are being considered.

This news coincides with reports that France is looking to sell 26 Rafale-Marine combat jets to India, a deal estimated at ₹50,000 crore.

This would enhance the combat capabilities of the Indian Navy, as we already operate 36 Rafale jets from an agreement in 2016 worth ₹59,000 crore.

The friendship between Macron and Modi is strong, and France has become one of India’s closest partners in Europe. Both countries are part of partnerships with other nations, focusing on areas like maritime security and resilient supply chains.

France has a significant presence in the Indian Ocean region. India and France’s navies often work together, especially on maritime security. Additionally, the two nations collaborate on global issues like counterterrorism and climate change at the United Nations.

Why Is It An Honor To Be India’s Republic Day Chief Guest?

Protocol-wise, being invited as the chief guest to Republic Day celebrations represents one of the highest honours a nation can bestow. As chief guest, one takes centre stage during many ceremonies that form part of this annual event.

Rashtrapati Bhavan will host an evening reception hosted by the President of India, followed by the President laying a wreath at Rajghat in honour of Mahatma.

Additionally, the Prime Minister hosts lunch in their glory while the Vice President and Minister for External Affairs make calls.

Ambassador Manbir Singh, a former Indian Foreign Service officer and Chief of Protocol from 1999-2002, told TrendsMyth that the visit of the Chief Guest was filled with symbolism. It shows the Chief Guest participating in India’s pride and happiness. It indicates friendship between two nations, represented by President India and the Chief Guest.”

This symbolism is an effective means of building stronger relations between India and its guest nations and also holds greater political and diplomatic weight.

How Is The Chief Guest Of Republic Day Selected?

The process begins nearly six months before the event. The MEA takes into consideration all sorts of factors before issuing an invitation, according to Ambassador Manbir Singh.

The relationship between India and the invited country is of paramount importance. The invitation to be the chief guest of the Republic Day Parade is the ultimate symbol of friendship between India and the requested country.

The decision is based on the political, commercial, economic, and military interests of India. MEA wants to use this opportunity to strengthen the ties between India and the invited country in all of these areas.

The association with the Non-Aligned Movement, which started in the early 1960s, has also played an important historical role in choosing the Chief Guest.

The NAM was an international political movement that brought together newly decolonized countries to support one another in the nation-building process and avoid Cold War disputes.

In 1950, the first Chief Guest at the parade was Indonesian President Sukarno. He was one of five founding members of NAM.

After the MEA Has Outlined Its Options, What Happens?

The MEA will then seek the approval of both the PM and President before seeking input from India’s ambassadors, who will discreetly verify any potential chief guests once approved by the MEA.

Due to a busy schedule and prior commitments that cannot be avoided, this step is key as often heads of states have tight schedules that preclude attending; that is why India does not select just one candidate but instead provides a list since an invitation has yet to be extended.

India and the country of an invitee will begin communicating more formally after selecting their candidate. The MEA’s territorial divisions work towards meaningful discussions and agreements.

The Chief of Protocol oversees logistics and program implementation, sharing a detailed itinerary for their trip as well as celebrating Republic Day together.

Planning the visit involves consultation between both parties – India’s Central Government, State Governments where foreign dignitaries may visit, and their respective national governments as well as their host country governments – in planning an itinerary.

What Can Go Wrong On A Visit?

Organisers must prepare themselves for the possibility that things may not go according to plan. Health issues of VIPs can cause delays. Rain can ruin a lot. Organisers practise contingencies in all sorts of scenarios so that everything goes smoothly on the big day.

In an article for the TrendsMyth written by Ambassador Singh, the ADC or aide-de-camp (a personal secretary or assistant to a high-ranking person) of the Republic Day Chief Guest attempted to accompany him to inspect the guard of honour.

“But our practice is that only the Tri-Services Guard commander accompanies a visitor. The insistent ADC was physically restrained on the spot by officials.”

Republic Day: Who was India’s first Chief Guest?

The first Republic Day Parade of India was held on January 26, 1950. Indonesian President Sukarno served as the chief guest.

Chief Guests Of The Modi Government’s Republic Day Celebrations

Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade 2015

Barack Obama, President of the United States

Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade 2016

Francois Hollande is the President of France

Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade 2017

Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade 2018

Ten guests, heads of ASEAN states

  1. Hassanal Bolkiah Sultan of Brunei
  2. Hun Sn, Prime Minister of Cambodia
  3. Joko W. Widodo is the President of Indonesia
  4. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of Laos
  5. Najib Razak is the Prime Minister of Malaysia
  6. Aung San Suu Kyi is the State Counsellor of Myanmar
  7. Rodrigo Duterte is the President of the Philippines
  8. Lee Hsien Loong is the Prime Minister of Singapore
  9. Prayut Chan-o-cha Prime Minister of Thailand
  10. Nguyen Phuc is the Prime Minister of Vietnam

Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade 2019

Cyril Ramaphosa is the President of South Africa

Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade in 2020

Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil)

Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade in 2021 or 2022

Covid-19 pandemic is the reason for no chief guest

Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade in 2023

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the President of Egypt

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