India is celebrating its 72nd Republic Day today. The entire country celebrates this day in a grand way. However, this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Republic Day celebrations will be a lot different.
The government has decided not to invite any foreign national head or head of government as the chief guest for this year’s Republic Day. Earlier in 1952, 1953 and 1966 also India did not have any chief guests for the Republic Day parade.
However in earlier days, there was no fixed venue for the grand Republic Day parade in India. The Republic Parade was held at various places like the Red Fort, Ramlila Maidan, Kingsway and Irwin Stadium. Finally in 1955, India decided that Rajpath will be the fixed venue for Republic Day Parade.
But the tradition that has continued in India for years is the presence of the chief guest for the Republic Day parade. India has been inviting political leaders from several countries for the parade. Even a chief guest from Pakistan has visited India twice.
In this article, we will tell you about the guests who attended the Republic Day Parade over the years.
Amidst the ongoing tension between India and China, India invited Marshal Ye Jianying as the chief guest in 1958 . After this invitation, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was expecting peace between the two countries.
Chairman Klement Voroshilov, Soviet Union (1960)
After having no guest again in 1959, Chairman Clement Voroshilov was the Chief Guest on behalf of Russia in 1960, on the 10th anniversary of Republic Day.
Queen Elizabeth II of Britain (1961)
India never invited Britain to parade after independence. Later in 1961, Queen Elizabeth was invited for the Republic Day Parade.
King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia (1963)
India did not have a chief guest because of the Indo-Pak war in 1962. But in 1963 India first invited Cambodia and King Norodom Sihanouk was the chief guest.
Food and Agriculture Minister of Pakistan Rana Abdul Hameed (1965)
A few days before the Indo-Pak war, India had invited Pakistan as the chief guest in 1965. This time Pakistan’s Food and Agriculture Minister Rana Abdul Hameed was the chief guest.
Two Countries Invited Together (1968)
India invited two friends together for the Republic Day Parade in 1968. India invited Alexei Koshygin, President of the Soviet Union, and Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia.
Prime Minister of Bulgaria Tod Zhivkov (1969)
It was the first time when India invited a Balkan country to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. While there are many countries that have been invited many times, Bulgaria joined the parade of India in 1969 for the first and last time. Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Tod Zhivkov became the chief guest.
President of Tanzania Julius Nyere (1971)
India did not invite nay country in 1970. After that, India invited President of Tanzania Julius Nyere as the 9th Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade in India in 1971. Like Bulgaria, Tanzania attended the parade only once.
Prime Minister of Mauritius Sevusagur Ramgoolam
In 1972, Mauritius was first invited to the Republic Day Parade in India. In 1972, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sevusagur Ramgoolam, arrived in India as the chief guest. India again invited Mauritius in 1990 and 2002.