A 95-member marching contingent and a 33-member band contingent from France will participate in the 75th Republic Day Parade in New Delhi on January 26. French Air Force Rafale fighter jets and multirole tanker transport aircraft will participate in the Republic Day parade, where French President Emmanuel Macron is the chief guest this year.
Captain Khourda will lead the 30-member band on Kartavya Path
Kartavya Path will be witness to a march past by a combined Band and Marching contingent of the French Armed Forces. The 30-member band contingent will be headed by Captain Khourda, which will be followed by a 90-member marching contingent led by Captain Noel. One Multirole Tanker Transport aircraft and two Rafale fighter jets of the French Air and Space Force will fly above the contingents while they march past the saluting dais.
An officer in the French Foreign Legion, Captain Loic Alexandre, has expressed his honour and pride in being in India for the Republic Day celebrations. "We are very honoured to be here in India. The French army has been invited and we saw the Indian army in Paris, France, last year. So they proved that they are part of a great army and that's why we are very proud to be here with them," he said. He further thanked all the services that welcomed them and emphasised that it is a great moment for them. "We are very well welcomed. So I would like to thank all the services that are working to welcome us, and yes, it's a very great moment for us," he added.
Around 130 people will march on the Kartavya Path on Republic Day
Captain Loic Alexandre stated that there would be 130 people marching on the Kartavya Path on Republic Day. "For this very special occasion, Republic Day in India, we are 130 people who are marching on Kartavya Path... There is the music band on the French... and then infantry regiment, the second foreign infantry regiment that's based in the south of France, he said.
Moreover, according to Captain Alexandre, there will be a woman pilot in the French Air Force will fly the Airbus. "The Indian Army is a partner of the French Army because we do a lot of exercises together each year. The last one with the Air Force was Garuda. It's a long collaboration and that's why it's important for us to be here," he said.
'Partnership between two countries can be strengthened,' said Captain Louis
Meanwhile, Captain Louis, who will be leading the French contingent, said that the partnership between India and France can be strengthened, as it happened last year when the Indian detachment participated in the Bastille Day. "I would say the partnerships concerning our two countries can be strengthened, as we did last year when the Indian detachment came for Bastille Day," he said.
A 241-member tri-service Indian armed forces contingent led by a military band had participated in the Bastille Day Parade in July 2023 to mark the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership.
French President Emmanuel Macron reached Jaipur ahead of the 75th Republic Day
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been invited as the chief guest for Republic Day, arrived in Jaipur for a two-day State visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will be the sixth occasion when a French leader will be the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations. Upon Macron's arrival at the Jaipur International Airport, he was received by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra and Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma. Macron's visit caps the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the India-France Strategic Partnership.
"Bienvenue en Inde! President @EmmanuelMacron of France warmly welcomed by Governor @KalrajMishra of Rajasthan, EAM @DrSJaishankar & CM @BhajanlalBjp of Rajasthan as he arrived in the historic city of Jaipur. President Macron is the Chief Guest at the 75th Republic Day celebrations," Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal posted on X.
Jaipur had been decked up with posters of PM Modi & President Macron
India and France share a high degree of convergence on a range of regional and global issues as strategic partners. The pink city has been decked up with posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Macron. After his arrival in Jaipur, Macron visited Amber Fort and interacted with artists. The French President thereafter will be received by PM Modi, and the two leaders will visit a few landmarks of the Pink City together, including Jantar Mantar, according to an official statement.
Later in the evening, he will visit Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal, following which PM Modi and the French president will hold a bilateral meeting at Taj Rambagh Palace. "He will attend the At Home reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan and, later, the State Banquet, at the invitation of the Hon'ble President of India, H.E. Smt Droupadi Murmu," the statement stated.
President Emmanuel Macron is accompanied by several delegations
Macron is being accompanied by a ministerial delegation comprising Stephane Sejourne (Europe and Foreign Affairs), Sebastien Lecornu (Armed Forces), and Rachida Dati (culture); a C-level business delegation of French majors, SMEs and mid-caps; and other eminent personalities, including ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Earlier in 2023, French President Macron visited India to attend the G20 Summit, which was held under India's Presidency, on September 9-10. Meanwhile, PM Modi was the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade held on July 14, 2023, in Paris. He had visited France at the invitation of French President Macron. French President Macron's visit will consolidate the ambitious renewal of the France-India strategic partnership that the two leaders decided on in Paris on July 14 through the "Horizon 2047 Roadmap."