Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a warm welcome upon his arrival in the UAE, from the members of the Indian diaspora outside a hotel in Dubai, followed by a cultural dance performance.
In what was easily one of the features of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to France, during he oversaw the country’s National Day celebrations as the Guest of Honour, President Emmanuel Macron hosted a banquet dinner in his honour.
The banquet was organised at Paris’ iconic Louvre Museum on July 14, the French National Day. Prime Minister Modi was welcomed by French President Macron and French First Lady Brigitte Macron and treated to specially curated all-vegetarian spread.
The Oscar-winning song ‘Jai Ho’, from the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, was played twice at the banquet hosted for PM Modi in Paris.
Set to tune by celebrated music composer AR Rahman, ‘Jai Ho’ received an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 81st Academy Awards in 2009, and also won in the category of ‘Best Song Written for a Motion Picture’ at the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010.
This lively and upbeat musical number from the British film was an Indo-Hispanic fusion anthem with a global spirit.
The last time a banquet was held at Louvre was for Queen Elizabeth in 1953. The museum, which generally gets a lot of footfalls on this day, was closed on the French National Day for the hosting of the banquet.
Even the thread for the vegetatian menu had the Tricolour, marking a deviation from the protocol which is to use French colours only.
PM Modi, in his address at the banquet dinner, said the world has faced many ups and downs in the past 25 years but the friendship between India and France continued to grow deeper. He said the two nations have prepared a roadmap for the next 25 years and that their partnership is a force for global good.
Addressing the banquet dinner hosted by Macron, PM Modi said, “In the past 25 years, the world faced many ups and downs and challenging times, but the friendship between France and India continued to grow deeper. We have made a long and important journey on the basis of Mutual understanding, trust and respect. Due to the personal efforts of President Macron, our ties are moving forward in every direction.”
“We have prepared a roadmap for the next 25 years. We are contributing not only to the welfare of both countries but also to world peace and security. Our partnership is a force for global good,” PM Modi added.
PM Modi, on his visit to France, participated in the Bastille Day celebrations as the Guest of Honour, on Friday. He visited France at the invitation of French President Macron.
“To mark the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership, a 241-member tri-service Indian armed forces contingent led by a military band also participated in the Parade,” the PMO said in a statement.
The Indian Army contingent was led by the Punjab Regiment, followed by a complement from the Rajputana Rifles Regiment.
During the parade, the Indian military contingent marched to the patriotic tune of ‘Sare Jahan Se Accha,’ while a squadron of Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale fighters participated in a flypast over the Champs-Elysees at the Bastille Day Parade.
Rafale Jets of the Indian Air Force, from the 101 Squadron from Hashimara, formed a part of the flypast during the parade.
“A giant in world history, with a decisive role to play in the future, a strategic partner, a friend. We are proud to welcome India as our guest of honour at the 14 July parade,” President Macron said.
PM Modi and President Emmanuel Macron met notable dignitaries during the Bastille Day Parade in Paris.
During his two-day visit, PM Modi was aso conferred with France’s highest honour, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, by French President Emmanuel Macron.
July 14 marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, during the French Revolution, which symbolizes the democratic values of ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’, the central theme of both the Indian and French constitutions.
PM Modi, during his France visit, also held a meeting with French President Macron, reviewing the full range of ties between the two countries.