Published On: Fri, Jul 14th, 2023

IAF Contingent participates in Bastille Day Parade with PM Modi in attendance

Paris: The Indian military contingent marched to the beats of ‘Sare Jahan Se Accha’ even as a compliment of Rafale fighters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) participated in a flypast over the Champs-Elysees at the Bastille Day Parade.

Both the Indian and French troops marched with trumpets and drums

The Punjab Regiment led the march and was followed by the Indian Navy and then the Air Force as the left their mark at the annual parade to mark the historic fall of the Bastille in 1789. The Punjab Regiment was led by Captain Aman Jagtap while the Indian naval contingent was led by Commander Vrat Baghel. The Indian Air Force contingent was commanded by Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was at the event as the Guest of Honour, took the salute from the Indian contingent as they marched at the Champs-Elysees. In a moment to savour for India, the IAF Rafales streaked the skies over Champs-Elysees, leaving the audience in awe.

French President Emmanuel Macron, First Lady Brigitte Macron, topped the dignitaries attending the Bastille Day Military Parade on Friday. The French fighters, which led the flypast, left a trail of smoke in the colours of the French national flag — red, blue and white, leaving the skies of Champs-Elysees bathing in its afterglow.

Both the Indian and French troops marched with trumpets and drums. Macron received the Guard of Honour upon his arrival ahead of the military parade. Ahead of the parade, PM Modi and the French President shared a warm hug as the latter arrived for the Bastille Day parade at Champs-Élysées in Paris. Champs-Élysées was gilded in the colours of the French Flag.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two countries. The Bastille Day Parade is the highlight of celebrations of the day that marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison, an ancient royal fortress in 1789 during the French Revolution.

This year the Bastille Day Parade had 6,300 soldiers in various marching contingents. This included a tri-services contingent of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The Indian Army was represented by the Punjab Regiment. The troops of the Regiment have participated in both World Wars, having been awarded 18 Battle and Theatre Honours in the first war.

The Punjab Regiment participated in an offensive near Neuve Chapelle in France in September 1915 during World War One. The regiment also won 16 Battle Honours and 14 Theatre Honours in the Second World War. Earlier, the Ministry of Defence, in a press release, stated, “The Indian Army contingent comprising of 77 marching personnel and 38 members of the Band is being led by Captain Aman Jagtap. Indian Navy contingent is being led by Commander Vrat Baghel and the Indian Air Force contingent is by Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy. The Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force will also form part of the flypast during the parade.”

It added, “The Army contingent is being represented by the Punjab Regiment which is one of the oldest Regiments of the Indian Army. The troops of the Regiment have participated in both the World Wars as well as the post-independence operations.”

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