July 14th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Political   Comments Off on FRENCH BASTILLE DAY PARADE
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Indian Military steals Thunder at French National Day Parade

It was a historic day today as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the guest of  honour on France’s Bastille Day. It was a also a historic feat that the Indian Military Contingent took part in the Bastille Day parade in France on Tuesday, the 14th June 2009. The contingent was led by the Maratha  Light Infantry Regiment

Four hundred personnel were drawn from Army, Navy and the Air Force and  the contingent  led the parade to the sound of Indian military music played by a 90-member band. They marched very elegantly to the song played by the band which was ‘Saare Jahan Se Acchha, Hindustan Hamara’ meaning thereby that India is the best in the world.

Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh was the Chief Guest at the function. He  was in Italy for the G8 Summit and was invited  by French President Nichoklas Sarkozyto attend the 14th July 2009 ,  French National Day Parade event as guest of honour. Sarkozy  had earlier attended India’s Republic Day celebrations in January 2008. This is the first time that the Prime Minister of India has been invited to be the Chief guest at this parade in France.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, and I quote “India has a primary role on the international scene and we support India’s candidacy to become a UN Security Council permanent member. He also said “that India is one of the greatest democracies in the world.”

Inviting Indian soldiers to take part in the Bastille Day march for the first time shows that France wants to emphasize its close relations with India. This was an extraordinary moment of pride for India.  The Indian soldiers were interviewed by the TV journalists and one of them said that they have been treated so well in France that they are feeling sad regarding their return to India tomorrow. He further added that there was no language problem for them as they had a wonderful guide to interpret and explain  things throughout their stay there.

The parade, one of Paris’s biggest annual events, gives a chance to France to show off its military might. The show ended with parachutists being dropped onto the Champs Elysee.
The parade is held each year on  14th of July to mark the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille Jail in Paris by revolutionaries on July 14, 1789.

Ravi Matah

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