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.


1950 President Sukarno Indonesia
1954 King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Bhutan
1955 Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad (first guest for parade at Rajpath) Pakistan
1958 Marshall Ye Jianying People’s Republic of China
1960 President Kliment Voroshilov Soviet Union
1961 Queen Elizabeth II United Kingdom
1963 King Norodom Sihanouk Cambodia
1965 Food and Agriculture Minister Rana Abdul Hamid Pakistan
1968 Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin and President Josip Broz Tito Soviet Union Yugoslavia
1969 Prime Minister of Bulgaria Todor Zhivkov Bulgaria
1971 President Julius Nyerere Tanzania
1972 Prime Minister Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Mauritius
1973 President Mobutu Sese Seko Zaire
1974 President Josip Broz Tito and Prime Minister Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike Yugoslavia 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 Junius 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 Republic of Korea
2011 President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Indonesia
2012 Yingluck Shinawatra First Female Prime Minister of Thailand Thailand
2013 Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Bhutan
2014 Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister) Japan
2015 Barack Obama (President) United States of America
2016 Francois Hollande France
2017 Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Abu 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.

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