Republic Day 2024: How is the chief guest selected in India?

Republic Day 2024: India is set to mark the 75th Republic Day celebrations with French President Emmanuel Macron as the chief guest.

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Courtesy: ANI

Republic Day 2024: India, commemorating its hard-fought freedom from British rule on August 15, 1947, and the subsequent adoption of its constitution on January 26, 1950, stands united in celebration. This Republic Day holds special significance as the nation observes the 75th year of its constitution, symbolizing resilience and progress. The grandeur of the day unfolds with parades, cultural events, and a spirit of remembrance for the sacrifices of its valiant soldiers.

Republic Day 2024: Parade to take place at the Kartavya Path 

The focal point of Republic Day celebrations is the Kartavya Path parade in New Delhi, where diverse contingents from all three branches of the Indian armed forces present a vibrant display of the nation’s rich cultural tapestry and military might. The President of India, as the supreme commander of the armed forces, hoists the national flag and receives salutes from the marching units. Adding international flair to the event, the President is joined by a chief guest, typically invited from a friendly nation. This year, on the 75th anniversary of the Indian Constitution, French President Emmanuel Macron assumes the role of the esteemed chief guest.

Republic Day 2024: Selecting the chief guest

Choosing the chief guest for the Republic Day Parade is a meticulous process that commences six months before the celebration. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) plays a pivotal role in this diplomatic dance. The decision hinges on the nature of diplomatic relations between India and the prospective guest country, as the invitation reflects the strength of friendship and cooperation. Such invitations not only enhance bilateral ties but also contribute to mutual understanding in military, commercial, and economic spheres.

Republic Day 2024: Historical ties, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

The selection process considers historical associations, with a nod to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The NAM, an international political movement of newly decolonized nations, aimed to stay neutral in the Cold War strife and promote collaborative development. The first Republic Day Parade in 1950 featured President Sukarno of Indonesia, a key NAM member, as the chief guest.

Republic Day 2024: MEA’s thorough process of selecting candidates to formal invitations

The MEA meticulously assesses potential candidates, seeking approval from the President and the Prime Minister. After obtaining the green light, Indian ambassadors gather information on the availability of the proposed chief guest. Recognizing the busy schedules of state heads, India maintains a list of potential candidates. This preliminary information allows flexibility for the invitee to consider the invitation before any formal communication.

Republic Day 2024: Ensuring a seamless visit

Upon finalizing the guest, India establishes more formal communication with the invitee country. The Chief of Protocol works on the detailed schedule for the visit and Republic Day Parade celebration, collaborating with the counterpart from the visiting nation. The intricate planning involves multiple stakeholders, including the government of India, relevant state governments, and the government of the guest nation.

As India stands on the threshold of its 75th Republic Day, the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron adds a global touch to the celebration, embodying the spirit of cooperation and solidarity on this momentous occasion.