This week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make a historic trip to France. On Friday, Bastille Day, which commemorates the start of the French Revolution more than 200 years ago, will be the highlight of his stay there. The trip’s high points are anticipated to be a significant defence procurement agreement and a comprehensive bilateral engagement.
PM Modi will meet with the whole French political establishment, including the Prime Minister, the heads of the Senate (Upper House) and the National Assembly (Lower House), during a reception hosted by President Emmanuel Macron. The economy and commerce will be a major emphasis of his visit, and a CEO roundtable featuring influential figures from the two nations will be place.
During this visit, India, a significant buyer of French weapons including the Rafale fighter jets from Dassault, is set to increase its defence purchases from France. Reports claim that PM Modi would reveal the purchase of an additional 26 Rafale aircraft for the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier. Three Scorpene-class submarines that were constructed in partnership with France are also planned to improve India’s naval prowess.
In light of anticipated future challenges from China, India’s northern neighbour, is modernising its armed forces with the acquisition of these defence resources. When PM Modi and Mr. Macron meet, it is probable that their collaboration on defence would be a major topic.
However, there are other factors at play during PM Modi’s visit, which reportedly takes place at the same time as the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership. An Indian military delegation made up of all three services will celebrate Bastille Day, which is a rare privilege.
Since it commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution in 1789, the French National Day, also known as Bastille Day, holds a particular place in the hearts and minds of the French people. The celebrations’ high point is the Bastille Day procession.
The French president will meet with Prime Minister Modi on numerous occasions, including a private dinner and a joint meeting with CEOs in addition to the state banquet at the famous Louvre Museum on Bastille Day. This is likely to allow PM Modi to capitalise on his warm personal chemistry with Mr. Macron. PM Modi will interact with the Indian community in France during the trip as well.