Chief Guests at Republic Day Parades

With the Republic Day around the corner, the national capital of India – New Delhi, is once again starting to don a festive look. Each year, Indians look forward to an impressive display of military might and cultural wealth at the Republic Day parade held at the Rajpath, Delhi. Republic Day is celebrated every year with full fervour in India. Chief Guests from different countries are invited to attend the celebrations and grace the ceremony.

The Chief Guest, who is invited, is usually the head of a state or government. The choice of this Chief Guest, too, is the result of India’s diplomatic and economic stance and sets the tone for the year to come. Being invited by India to be present at one of the momentous events held is also an opportunity for the guest to strengthen bonds of economic and military cooperation. International geopolitics and strategic alliances also play a very important role in the choice of Republic Day chief guest.

In 2015, just after coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited erstwhile POTUS Barack Obama as the chief guest of the Republic Day. In 2016 President François Hollande of France and in 2017 Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE graced the occasion. In 2018, there were numerous chief guests – leaders of all the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

Chief Guests of Republic Day 2019

This year the chief guest is Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa. Earlier there were hints that the US President Donald Trump would grace the ceremony. But his administration declined the invitation stating that Trump had a crowded agenda and therefore, wouldn’t be able to make it on the Republic Day of India.

List of Chief Guests on Indian Republic Day Parades (1950 – 2019)

Year Guest name Country
1950 President Sukarno  Indonesia
1951 King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah    Nepal
1952 No invitation No invitation
1953 No invitation No invitation
1954 King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck  Bhutan
1955 Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad  Pakistan
1956 Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler  United Kingdom
Chief Justice Kotaro Tanaka  Japan
1957 Minister of Defence Georgy Zhukov  Soviet Union
1958 Marshall Ye Jianying  China
1959 Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip  United Kingdom
1960 Chairman Kliment Voroshilov  Soviet Union
1961 Queen Elizabeth II  United Kingdom
1962 Prime Minister Viggo Kampmann  Denmark
1963 King Norodom Sihanouk  Cambodia
1964 Chief of Defence Staff Lord Louis Mountbatten  United Kingdom
1965 Food and Agriculture Minister Rana Abdul Hamid  Pakistan
1966 No invitation No invitation
1967 King Mohammed Zahir Shah  Afghanistan
1968 Chairman Alexei Kosygin  Soviet Union
President Josip Broz Tito  Yugoslavia
1969 Prime Minister Todor Zhivkov  Bulgaria
1970 King of the Belgians Baudouin  Belgium
1971 President Julius Nyerere  Tanzania
1972 Prime Minister Seewoosagur Ramgoolam  Mauritius
1973 President Mobutu Sese Seko  Zaire
1974 President Josip Broz Tito  Yugoslavia
Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike  Sri Lanka
1975 President Kenneth Kaunda  Zambia
1976 Prime Minister Jacques Chirac  France
1977 First Secretary Edward Gierek  Poland
1978 President Patrick Hillery  Ireland
1979 Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser  Australia
1980 President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing  France
1981 President Jose Lopez Portillo  Mexico
1982 King Juan Carlos I  Spain
1983 President Shehu Shagari  Nigeria
1984 King Jigme Singye Wangchuck  Bhutan
1985 President Raúl Alfonsín  Argentina
1986 Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou  Greece
1987 President Alan Garcia  Peru
1988 President J. R. Jayewardene  Sri Lanka
1989 General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh  Vietnam
1990 Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth  Mauritius
1991 President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom  Maldives
1992 President Mário Soares  Portugal
1993 Prime Minister John Major  United Kingdom
1994 Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong  Singapore
1995 President Nelson Mandela  South Africa
1996 President Dr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso  Brazil
1997 Prime Minister Basdeo Panday  Trinidad and Tobago
1998 President Jacques Chirac  France
1999 King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev Nepal
2000 President Olusegun Obasanjo Nigeria
2001 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika  Algeria
2002 President Cassam Uteem  Mauritius
2003 President Mohammed Khatami  Iran
2004 President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva  Brazil
2005 King Jigme Singye Wangchuck  Bhutan
2006 King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud  Saudi Arabia
2007 President Vladimir Putin  Russia
2008 President Nicolas Sarkozy  France
2009 President Nursultan Nazarbayev  Kazakhstan
2010 President Lee Myung Bak  South Korea
2011 President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  Indonesia
2012 Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra  Thailand
2013 King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Bhutan
2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Japan
2015 President Barack Obama United States
2016 President François Hollande France
2017 Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan United Arab Emirates
2018 Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Brunei
2018 Prime Minister Hun Sen Cambodia
2018 President Joko Widodo Indonesia
2018 Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith Laos
2018 Prime Minister Najib Razak Malaysia
2018 President Htin Kyaw  Myanmar
2018 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte Philippines
2018 President Halimah Yacob Singapore
2018 Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha Thailand
2018 Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc Vietnam
2019 Cyril Ramaphosa South Africa

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