Who: French soldiers
What: To march down Rajpath on Republic Day 2016 along with Indian troops
When: 26 January 2016
The French soldiers will march down the Rajpath on Republic Day along with Indian troops in the presence of President Francois Hollande.
Hollande is the Chief Guest for 26 January 2016 celebrations.
This is the first time that a foreign army will participate in the 26th January Parade, since 1950.
A French contingent, comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, is already in the country to take part in a joint exercise, Shakti 2016, which began in Rajasthan on 8 January 2016. Some soldiers will also fly down from France to form a proper marching contingent.
Earlier similar event occurred in France when Indian troops drawn from the three services (Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force) marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris along with French Army on the Bastille Day. The event was held on 14 July 2009 and saw participation of the Maratha light infantry, which is one of the oldest regiments of Indian Army.
Bastille Day (French National Day) is celebrated on 14 July each year. The French National Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, an important event in Paris that was the symbolic start of French revolution.