In a display of camaraderie and historic ties, the Embassy of France in India has enthusiastically welcomed the Indian tri-service delegation with a tweet, due to participate in the esteemed Bastille Day Parade on July 14 in France. The embassy conveyed heartfelt greetings, with a unique nod to the valiant soldiers of the Punjab Regiment. This prestigious military division is notable for its storied past, having gallantly fought alongside the French during the tumultuous times of World War I.
Previously, the tri-service ensemble from the Indian armed forces embarked on their journey to France for the Bastille Day Parade on July 6. As per the information released by India’s Ministry of Defence, the ensemble consists of 269 personnel drawn from various branches of the Indian military.
Significantly, the parade will also feature soldiers from the Punjab Regiment, marking their return to French soil after a long hiatus of 107 years. It is an opportunity to pay tribute to their predecessors who fought valiantly in the First World War. The French Embassy has acknowledged that there exist historical records indicating the critical role played by Indian soldiers, potentially from the Sikh Regiment — one of India’s oldest military factions — who fought shoulder to shoulder with the French.
The Ministry of Defence further shared that the Army’s representation in this contingent is primarily by the Punjab Regiment, a testament to its enduring legacy and longstanding service in the annals of the Indian Army.
The delegation from the Indian armed forces for the parade comprises a robust assembly of 77 marching personnel from the Army, along with 38 band members. The navy and air force contingents are equally represented in this ensemble, enhancing the multi-faceted nature of India’s defence forces.
Adding to the grandeur of the event, the flypast at the parade will feature the formidable Rafale fighter jets, showcasing the cutting-edge aerial capability of the French Air Force.
Bastille Day, a cherished national holiday in France, commemorates the historical event of the Storming of the Bastille in 1789. This medieval fortress’s seizure is seen as a seminal event, marking the inception of the transformative French Revolution. Therefore, the participation of the Indian tri-service contingent in this event underscores the mutual respect and shared history between these two nations.