Chief Guests of Indian Republic Day Celebrations from Year 1950 to 2017 (list)

The Republic Day parade in Delhi is the largest and unarguably the most important parade marking the Republic Day celebrations in India. The parade showcases and celebrates India’s Defence Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage at Rajpath, New Delhi, every year.

Since 1950, India has been hosting a head of state or government of another country as the state guest of honour for the Republic Day celebrations.

Selecting the chief guest for the Republic Day parade is no routine affair.

The choice carries either a strong intent or an emphatic reiteration on the part of the government, or both. As India wants to extend commercial and social ties with certain countries, the chief guest is usually picked from a nation that India wants to build – or reaffirm – its friendship with.


YearChief Guest NameCountry
1950President SukarnoIndonesia
1954King Jigme Dorji WangchuckBhutan
1955Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad (first guest for parade at Rajpath)Pakistan
1958Marshall Ye JianyingPeople’s Republic of China
1960President Kliment VoroshilovSoviet Union
1961Queen Elizabeth IIUnited Kingdom
1963King Norodom SihanoukCambodia
1965Food and Agriculture Minister Rana Abdul HamidPakistan
1968Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin and President Josip Broz TitoSoviet Union Yugoslavia
1969Prime Minister of Bulgaria Todor ZhivkovBulgaria
1971President Julius NyerereTanzania
1972Prime Minister Seewoosagur RamgoolamMauritius
1973President Mobutu Sese SekoZaire
1974President Josip Broz Tito and Prime Minister Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias BandaranaikeYugoslavia Sri Lanka
1975President Kenneth KaundaZambia
1976Prime Minister Jacques ChiracFrance
1977First Secretary Edward GierekPoland
1978President Patrick HilleryIreland
1979Prime Minister Malcolm FraserAustralia
1980President Valéry Giscard d’EstaingFrance
1981President Jose Lopez PortilloMexico
1982King Juan Carlos ISpain
1983President Shehu ShagariNigeria
1984King Jigme Singye WangchuckBhutan
1985President Raúl AlfonsínArgentina
1986Prime Minister Andreas PapandreouGreece
1987President Alan GarciaPeru
1988President Junius JayewardeneSri Lanka
1989General Secretary Nguyen Van LinhVietnam
1990Prime Minister Anerood JugnauthMauritius
1991President Maumoon Abdul GayoomMaldives
1992President Mário SoaresPortugal
1993Prime Minister John MajorUnited Kingdom
1994Prime Minister Goh Chok TongSingapore
1995President Nelson MandelaSouth Africa
1996President Dr. Fernando Henrique CardosoBrazil
1997Prime Minister Basdeo PandayTrinidad and Tobago
1998President Jacques ChiracFrance
1999King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah DevNepal
2000President Olusegun ObasanjoNigeria
2001President Abdelaziz BouteflikaAlgeria
2002President Cassam UteemMauritius
2003President Mohammed KhatamiIran
2004President Luiz Inacio Lula da SilvaBrazil
2005King Jigme Singye WangchuckBhutan
2006King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-SaudSaudi Arabia
2007President Vladimir PutinRussia
2008President Nicolas SarkozyFrance
2009President Nursultan NazarbayevKazakhstan
2010President Lee Myung BakRepublic of Korea
2011President Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoIndonesia
2012Yingluck Shinawatra First Female Prime Minister of ThailandThailand
2013Jigme Khesar Namgyel WangchuckBhutan
2014Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister)Japan
2015Barack Obama (President)United States of America
2016Francois HollandeFrance
2017Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al NahyanAbu Dhabi

The Republic Day parade in 1955 stood out for a couple of reasons. One, the chief guest at the parade was from Pakistan – governor general Malik Ghulam Muhammad – and, two, it was the first time the event was held at Rajpath (after experimenting with temporary venues, such as Ramlila Ground, for years).

The last time the government picked a chief guest from the neighbouring country for the parade was in 1965, when it hosted Pakistan food and agriculture minister Rana Abdul Hamid. The two countries went to war less than three months later.

Rate this post

More related articles