New Delhi: Emmanuel Macron, the President of France immersed himself in the grandeur of Indias 75th Republic Day celebrations on Friday. The event took place at the Kartavya Path and saw Macron joining a distinguished gathering of global leaders. He had the honor of being present at the nations significant ceremonial occasion, which included an impressive military parade and captivating cultural performances.
Accompanied by President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi members of the Union Cabinet foreign diplomats and other dignitaries Macron attended as the guest and witnessed the splendid spectacle unfold before his eyes.
It is worth noting that this was not the time a French leader served as the chief guest at Indias Republic Day parade; in fact this marked their sixth occasion. Prior to the festivities President Macron engaged in discussions with Prime Minister Modi in Jaipur.
Adding to its charm a contingent comprising 95 marchers and a 30 member band from France showcased their presence at the parade. This display highlighted the ties between India and France. Additionally two Rafale fighters from the air force along, with an Airbus A330 multi role tanker transport aircraft graced the celebrations.
Continuing its tradition of inviting world leaders to participate in Republic Day festivities India had previously welcomed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi as a guest last year.
Due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic it is worth mentioning that there were no guests in attendance during the years 2021 and 2022.
Looking back at editions the Republic Day parade has been graced by prominent leaders such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019 and leaders from all 10 ASEAN countries in 2018. The prestigious list also includes figures like Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2017 and former US President Barack Obama in 2015.
Over time Indias Republic Day celebrations have welcomed personalities like Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami and Jacques Chirac. The remarkable history of participation during Indias Republic Day parade includes British Prime Minister John Major in 1993 South African President Nelson Mandela, in 1995 and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in 2010.
The diverse tapestry of attendees also encompasses French Presidents Sarkozy and Chirac who graced the occasion in 2008 and 1998 respectively. Other notable leaders who have made their mark on the celebrations over years include Nepals King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, Irans former President Mohammed Khatami, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
—Input from Agencies