Republic Day Parade 2021 | India invites UK PM Boris Johnson as chief guest
Boris Johnson would be the first prime minister of the United Kingdom since John Major in 1993 to be the chief guest of India's Republic Day parade.
December 03, 2020 / 10:15 AM IST
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (file image)
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to be the chief guest of India’s Republic Day parade in January 2021, news reports suggest. Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally invited Johnson for the annual event during their telephonic conversation on November 27, according to a report by the Hindustan Times.
The report further suggests that Johnson in turn extended an invitation to PM Modi for the 2021 G7 Summit that will be hosted by the UK in 2021 even though India is not a member of the ‘Group of Seven’ organisation.
John Major was the last British prime minister to attend the Indian Republic Day parade in 1993.
The government has not confirmed this development yet. However, Johnson’s possible participation in the January 26 event would come at a time when the UK faces a hard Brexit. The event would happen less than a week after Joe Biden takes over as the 46th United States president – a transition that Johnson’s government has been wary of because of their close association with the Trump administration.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the Republic Day parade chief guest in 2020. The process of selecting the chief guest is long and begins around six months ahead of Republic Day.
After the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) carefully scrutinizes India’s relations with the concerned country, the government sends an invite to their Head of State.
Among other factors that the MEA considers, including political and economic relations and military cooperation, is the past association with the Non Aligned Movement (NAM). NAM was a movement joined by most newly liberated countries to collectively fight colonialism and apartheid.
The chief guest is also decided on the basis of the other country’s interest and availability of the dignitary. The natural corollary is that the guest should be treated with utmost honour and they should be satisfied with their visit.