New Delhi: On 15 August 2020, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the tricolor at the Red Fort, a symbol of the country’s democratic governance system, it will also create an interesting record of political history. Modi will hoist the tricolor for the seventh consecutive time and with this, he will reach number four in the list of prime ministers who have achieved this privilege the most times. The record of the most frequent tricolor wave at the Red Fort is in the name of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi is second and Manmohan Singh third in this achievement.
Since Independence, till now, in the interesting story of the Prime Ministers who waved the tricolor on the occasion of Independence Day, all the leaders who became PM have more or less got this privilege, but Chandrashekhar and Gulzari Lal Nanda were also the two Prime Ministers who got the tricolor at the Red Fort. Could not get a chance to make waves. When Narendra Modi hoists the tricolor for the seventh time on August 15, he will surpass Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s record of hoisting the tricolor on the Red Fort six times as Prime Minister.
Pandit Nehru waved the tricolor at the Red Fort for 17 consecutive times
Modi, who assumed power in May 2014, will jointly come in at number three with Manmohan Singh after completing his second term in 2024, winning the tricolor at the Red Fort 10 times. Pandit Nehru, who hoisted the tricolor on the Red Fort on 15 August 1947, hoisted the tricolor at the Red Fort for 17 consecutive times. After Pandit Nehru’s death, Gulzari Lal Nanda was the Prime Minister for only 14 days and no such opportunity came before him.
Due to untimely demise, Lal Bahadur Shastri got twice the opportunity to wave the tricolor on the Red Fort between June 1964 and July 1966. After Shastri’s death, Gulzari Lal Nanda got a second chance as prime minister for 15 days, but the fate of the tricolor was unhappy with him.
Indira Gandhi hoisted the tricolor on the Red Fort 11 times in a row
Indira Gandhi, who became the first woman Prime Minister of the country, waved the tricolor on the Red Fort for 11 consecutive times from January 1966 to March 1977. Indira Gandhi, who was out of power in the post-Emergency elections, became Prime Minister again in January 1980 and held the top executive position of the country till her assassination on 31 October 1984. During this time, Indira Gandhi waved the tricolor five times and after her father Pandit Nehru, the second highest tricolor on the Red Fort 16 times. Rajiv Gandhi also had the privilege of hoisting the tricolor at the Red Fort five times as Prime Minister between 1984 and 1989.
Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao joint list
A new turning point in this interesting history of waving the tricolor on the Red Fort came in December 1989 when Vishwanath Pratap Singh became the Prime Minister of the second non-Congress government. But his government collapsed in November 1990 and only once he could wave the tricolor on the Red Fort. Chandrasekhar, who became the Prime Minister with the support of the Congress, remained in the post for seven months till June 1991, but he was fortunate to wave the tricolor. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who was Prime Minister from June 1991 to May 1996, waved the tricolor on the Red Fort. Rajiv Gandhi and Rao jointly number six on this list.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee waved the tricolor on the Red Fort for 6 consecutive times
After the 1996 elections, Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the PM for 13 days, but got the opportunity to wave the tricolor for the first time during the 13-month government formed after the election in March 1998. After this he also came back in 1999 election. In this way, between March 1998 and May 2004, Vajpayee hoisted the tricolor six times in a row and is at number five in the tricolor flagging prime ministers. Earlier, two Prime Ministers HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral, who were from June 1996 to March 1998, also got the privilege of waving the tricolor on the Red Fort once upon a time.