26 January. This day holds a special place in the hearts of all Indians. This is the day when we celebrate Republic Day – the day when our Constitution came into effect 73 years ago. We prepare ourselves to watch the great parade in Kartavya Path (formerly Rajpath) in New Delhi, where brave soldiers of our pride – The Indian Armed Forces showcase their strength, where different states of our country proudly show their culture, and where we see the Chief Guest of the Republic Day witness the celebrations with other dignitaries. The Chief Guest may be the head of the state of government of another country.
2023 REPUBLIC DAY CHIEF GUEST
In 2023, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January. This is the first time that the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt will be the Chief Guest in our Republic Day celebrations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a formal invitation to al-Sisi which was handed over to the Egyptian president by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on October 16, 2022. Both countries are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.
Egypt has been invited as a ‘Guest Country’ during India’s Presidency of G-20 in 2022-23. India and Egypt enjoy warm and friendly relations based on civilizational and deep-rooted people-to-people ties.
WHEN REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS WERE HELD WITHOUT A FOREIGN LEADER AS CHIEF GUEST
In the past, there have been many occasions when there was no chief guest to witness the awesomeness of our Republic Day celebrations. In 1952, 1953, and 1966, the Republic Day celebrations were held without a foreign leader as chief guest. In 2021, the then United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson was invited as the chief guest but his visit had to be cancelled due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Britain.
This year, India had invited leaders of the five Central Asian Republics, who were to visit Delhi for the India-Central Asia Summit, as chief guests for the Republic Day celebrations. However, the visit was cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in India. Eventually, the India-Central Asia Summit was held in a virtual format.
REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATION CHIEF GUESTS OVER THE YEARS
In 2018, the entire Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leadership comprising 10 heads of state was present at the Republic Day parade. In 2020, the then Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest.
Former US President Barack Obama (2015), Russian President Vladimir Putin (2007), former French presidents Nicholas Sarkozy (2008), and Francois Hollande (2016) have also been chief guests at the Republic Day celebrations in the past.
Who was the first chief guest on Republic Day parade of India in 1950?
The Indonesian President Sukarno was the first Chief guest on the very first Republic Day parade of India.
What are some welcoming words?
“It’s my pleasure to extend a cheerful welcome to you all! Your presence makes us very happy.”
Who will be chief guest on 26 January 2023?
Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to be the Chief Guest on Republic Day 2023.