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INDIA: CEREMONY AND RITUALS


US President Barack Obama addressing a Joint Session of both houses in Central Hall in the Parliament of India in 2010


Address, which carry with them a measure of fanfare. On the day of President’s Address, the President arrives in a cavalcade, comprising of mounted horsemen as escorts from the official home of the President, Rashtrapati Bhavan, to Parliament. The President arrives at Parliament House attended by his Secretary and Military Secretary and escorted by bodyguards. When the President alights from the coach or car at Parliament House, the bodyguards


give the national salute and the President is received at the gate by the Vice-President of India who is an ex-officio Chairman of the Upper House, the Rajya Sabha, as well as the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House), the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Secretaries General of the two Houses.


The President then proceeds in a ceremonial procession to the Central Hall. The presidential procession


enters Central Hall amidst a fanfare of trumpets.


The President takes their seat on the dais in the Central Hall along with the Vice-President and Speaker of the Lok Sabha. All stand as the National Anthem is played by the ceremonial band, and thereafter the President reads the Address. The President may read the Address either in Hindi or English; the other version is read by the Vice-President. The ceremonies associated


with the Presidential Address have become a part of India’s rich parliamentary heritage. Whenever one speaks of the Budget session they instinctively relate to the President’s Address and ceremonies attached to it. So is the case with first sitting of a new Lok Sabha. Utmost solemnity is observed during the entire ceremony.


However, on two occasions, one in 1963 and the other in 1971, following disorderly conduct during the


The Parliamentarian | 2014: Issue Three | 193


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