Bastille Day: The alliance between the Indian and French armies traces back to World War 1.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the guest of honour at the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, which began around 1.40 pm Indian time and saw four Rafale fighter jets and two C-17 Globemasters participate in the flypast.
A 269-member contingent of the Indian Armed Forces also marched alongside their counterparts from the French forces in the Bastille Day parade.
French President Emmanuel Macron bestowed the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour - the highest French honour in military or civilian orders - on PM Modi yesterday. The Prime Minister, who became the first Indian PM to receive the award, thanked President Macron on behalf of the people of India.
Bastille Day, also known as Fete Nationale Francaise, is celebrated in France every year on July 14. The day marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789, which signalled the first victory of the people against a symbol of the old regime. It marked the beginning of the French Revolution and represents unity among the French people.
The alliance between the Indian and French armies traces back to World War 1, when over 1.3 million Indian soldiers had joined the conflict. Bastille Day holds a special significance this year as India and France are marking 25 years of their strategic partnership.
At the end of day one of his France visit yesterday, PM Modi addressed the Indian community in Paris and announced that India's most successful payments system, UPI, will be used in France.
"India and France have agreed to use the Unified Payments System in France. In the coming days, it will begin from the Eiffel Tower, which means Indian tourists will now be able to pay in rupees," the Prime Minister said.