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How India selects its chief guest for the parade

India has invited France’s president Emmanuel Macron for the subsequent month’s Republic Day parade. Reuters File Photograph

French president Emmanuel Macron is predicted to be the chief visitor for India’s Republic Day parade subsequent month. New Delhi has reportedly invited him and if he accepts, Macron would be the sixth French president to be the chief visitor on the Republic Day celebrations.

Earlier, India was in talks with the Leaders of Quad international locations for the Republic Day parade. Nonetheless, this didn’t materialise because of the unavailability of United States president Joe Biden.

This 12 months, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was India’s chief visitor for the Republic Day celebrations.

How does India choose the chief visitor for its Republic Day celebrations? What’s its significance? Let’s perceive.

A laborious activity

Selecting the chief visitor for the Republic Day celebrations will not be an on a regular basis affair. In actual fact, it’s the highest honour accorded by the nation when it comes to protocol.

Loads of consideration goes into deciding the chief visitor. The choice course of begins about six months earlier than Republic Day, which India marks on 26 January yearly.

The Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA) contemplates many elements earlier than extending the invitation to the pinnacle of state. Probably the most fundamental consideration is New Delhi’s relationship with that nation as being the chief visitor invitee displays that India desires to “build” or “reaffirm” its friendship with that nation, as per Hindustan Instances (HT).

India’s political, business, army and financial pursuits additionally play a serious function within the choice, with the MEA utilizing the event to bolster ties with that nation, reported Indian Specific.

Frances Emmanuel Macron invited for Republic Day How India selects its chief guest for the parade
Folks collect at India Gate in New Delhi to mark Republic Day on 26 January 2019. PTI File Photograph

One other issue that has been taken under consideration traditionally was the chief visitor’s affiliation with the Non-Aligned Motion (NAM). Based in 1961, NAM was a world political motion of the newly liberated nations to remain away from the Chilly Warfare tensions and again one another’s nation-building efforts. This was mirrored within the choice of India’s first Republic Day chief visitor in 1950 – then Indonesian president Sukarno, who was one of many founding members of the NAM.

In spite of everything these deliberations, the MEA seeks the nod of the Prime Minister and the President on the difficulty. As soon as the ministry will get the approval, it then proceeds additional. The Indian ambassador within the involved nation discreetly tries to search out out the potential chief visitor’s availability as it is not uncommon for heads of state to have busy schedules and prior commitments, famous Indian Specific.

Holding this in thoughts, the MEA prepares a curated listing of candidates as an alternative of getting only one possibility.

What occurs subsequent?

In keeping with Indian Specific, India and the nation of the invitee maintain official talks as soon as the candidate is finalised. Territorial divisions within the MEA then get to work on agreements. The Chief of Protocol is accountable for charting out the main points of the programme and logistics.

The excellent plan for the journey and the Republic Day occasion is shared with the Indian Protocol Chief’s counterpart of the visiting nation. The Indian authorities, the federal government of state(s) that the overseas dignitary may go to and the federal government of the involved nation are concerned within the planning of the go to, the newspaper reported.

Organisers additionally put together for every kind of contingencies akin to medical emergencies in the course of the journey.

ALSO READ: A Page out of History: How India rang in its first Republic Day in 1950

Significance of the chief visitor

All eyes are on the chief visitor of the Republic Day and it’s important the visitor nation views the go to as profitable. The overseas dignitary is accorded the ceremonial guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The pinnacle of state then attends the reception within the night hosted by the Indian president.

Additionally they lay a wreath at Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi. A banquet is hosted by the Prime Minister in honour of the chief visitor of the Republic Day.

Former Indian International Service officer Manbir Singh informed Indian Specific earlier that the go to of the overseas dignitary for the Republic Day parade “portrays the Chief Guest as participating in India’s pride and happiness, and reflects the friendship between the two peoples represented by the President of India and the Chief Guest”.

India-France ties

India inviting France’s Macron alerts the shut ties between the 2 nations. The final time India invited a French president as its chief visitor for the Republic Day parade was in 2016 when Francois Hollande graced the event.

Notably, PM Narendra Modi was the Visitor of Honour on the Bastille Day (France’s nationwide day) celebrations and parade in July this 12 months.

Frances Emmanuel Macron invited for Republic Day How India selects its chief guest for the parade
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a joint press convention on the Elysee Palace in Paris on 14 July 2023. Reuters File Photograph

As per ThePrint report, France just lately submitted bids for the Indian Navy’s plans to obtain 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets for plane provider INS Vikrant.

France has additionally supported India at international boards together with the United Nations. The invitation to Macron shows India’s intention to additional strengthen its relations with France with which it enjoys a strategic partnership in defence, house, and nuclear areas.

With inputs from businesses

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