Indian Tri-Services contingent heads to Paris for prestigious Bastille Day parade
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grace the Bastille Day parade as a guest of honor
A 269-member tri-services contingent of the Indian Armed Forces left for Paris on Thursday (July 6, 2023) to participate in the Bastille Day parade next week that will be graced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the guest of honour.
Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force will form part of the fly past during the parade.
The Bastille Day parade, a grand commemoration observed as the National Day in France on July 14, holds a profound historical significance. It marks the anniversary of the groundbreaking Storming of the Bastille, an event that transpired in the year 1789 during the renowned French Revolution. This symbolic day serves as a powerful reminder of the unwavering spirit of liberty, equality, and fraternity that resonates not only with the French people but also with nations worldwide.
The Indian contingent, meticulously chosen for their exceptional skills, unwavering discipline, and commitment to duty, embodies the core values of the Indian Armed Forces. Their participation in the prestigious Bastille Day parade not only exemplifies the harmonious collaboration between two nations but also symbolizes the shared ideals of democracy, freedom, and sovereignty.
Embarking on a remarkable journey to the heart of Paris, an Indian Army contingent, consisting of 77 marching personnel and a talented band comprising 38 members, stands poised to leave an indelible mark on the prestigious Bastille Day parade. They are led by Captain Aman Jagtap.
In perfect harmony with their army counterparts, the Indian Navy contingent will march forth under the able guidance of Commander Vrat Baghel. Displaying immense discipline and unwavering commitment, this contingent represents the steadfast resolve and maritime prowess of the Indian Navy on a global stage.
Taking to the skies with resolute determination, the Indian Air Force contingent, led by Wing Commander Sudha Reddy, is set to exhibit unmatched skill and precision. Adding a touch of awe-inspiring grandeur to the parade, the formidable Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force will soar high above, painting the sky with their powerful presence during the exhilarating fly-past.
HISTORY, PRIDE AND HONOUR
A sense of historical pride and honor resonates through the participation of the Indian Army contingent, which proudly represents the venerable Punjab Regiment. The troops of the Regiment have participated in both the World Wars as well as the post-independence operations. In World War-I, they were awarded 18 Battle and Theatre Honours. The gallant soldiers fought in Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Palestine, Egypt, China, Hongkong, Damascus and France.
In France, they took part in an offensive near Neuve Chapelle in September 1915 earning the Battle Honours 'Loos' and ‘France and Flanders’. In World War-II, they earned 16 Battle Honours and 14 Theatre Honours. With an illustrious heritage and esteemed as one of the most ancient regiments in the Indian Army, the Punjab Regiment proudly bears the burden of its historical legacy.
Their presence in the Bastille Day parade serves as a testament to their rooted dedication, as they showcase the unbreakable spirit and bravery that has defined their regiment for generations. The Rajputana Rifles Regiment Band is additionally accompanying the contingent.
The association of the Indian and the French Armies dates back to World War-I. Over 1.3 million Indian soldiers participated in the war and almost 74,000 of them fought in the muddy trenches to never return again, while another 67,000 were wounded. Indian troops valiantly fought on French soil also. Later, World War-II witnessed a whopping 2.5 million Indian soldiers making significant contributions in various theatres of the war from Asia to Africa and Europe. This union signifies a long-standing association between the Indian and French Armies, which traces its origins back to the tumultuous era of World War 1.
The enduring legacy of Indian soldiers in both World Wars stands as a testament to their unyielding courage and dedication. Through their unwavering service and sacrifices, they showcased the unwavering spirit of the Indian Armed Forces, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of military history. As the Indian contingent marches forward in the Bastille Day parade, their presence not only commemorates the past but also symbolizes the deep-rooted bonds between nations forged in the crucible of war. This also included the battlefields of France.
This year, both countries are celebrating 25 years of strategic partnership. The armies of both countries have been participating in joint exercises and sharing their experiences. Over the years, India and France have become reliable defence partners.