France celebrates Bastille Day with pomp, a tribute to India and extra police to prevent new unrest
On Friday, France commemorated its national holiday, Bastille Day, with a magnificent display of warplanes and a grand parade in Paris. However, the celebrations were accompanied by a significant security presence, with over 100,000 police officers deployed throughout the country to prevent any potential unrest in marginalized communities.
The timing of this year’s Bastille Day celebrations holds particular significance as they follow a period of intense civil unrest, marking the country’s most serious riots in almost two decades. These protests erupted after the tragic police shooting of a teenager of North African descent, which exposed deep-seated anger and frustration over persistent inequality and racial discrimination within French society.
The events surrounding July 14, 1789, when the French Revolution began, have traditionally been a cause for celebration, symbolizing the fight for liberty, equality, and fraternity. However, recent incidents have highlighted the ongoing social issues faced by certain communities in France, sparking nationwide conversations about the need for societal reform and greater inclusivity.
To ensure the safety and security of the celebrations, authorities took proactive measures by mobilizing a substantial police presence across the country. Their aim was to prevent any potential flare-ups of unrest, particularly in underprivileged neighbourhoods where tensions have been particularly high.
The deployment of such a significant number of police officers underscores the authorities’ commitment to maintaining public order while also acknowledging the underlying societal challenges that need to be addressed. The goal is to foster dialogue, understanding, and cooperation among all segments of society to create a more equitable and harmonious France.
The Bastille Day celebrations serve as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for social justice and equality. While they provide an opportunity to showcase France’s rich history and cultural heritage, they also prompt reflection on the urgent need for progress in addressing systemic issues that continue to affect marginalized communities.
Through open dialogue, effective policies, and collective efforts, France aims to build a more inclusive society where all citizens have equal opportunities and experiences. By recognizing and addressing these deep-rooted challenges, the nation can work towards a future characterized by unity and shared prosperity for all its inhabitants.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honored
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honored with a remarkable reception during his visit to France as the guest of honor at the Bastille Day military parade. This visit has also resulted in significant defense deals being finalized between the two countries.
Accompanied by President Emmanuel Macron, Modi witnessed the impressive display of French and Indian soldiers marching along the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. The parade featured the participation of Rafale fighter jets, which were purchased by India in 2015, and they performed a fly-past over the renowned Arc de Triomphe.
The Bastille Day celebrations took place during a sensitive period for President Macron. As he drove down the Champs-Elysees in a military car, he encountered some booing from members of the public. Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age earlier in the year had sparked several months of protests, impacting his popularity ratings.
Modi’s visit to Paris commenced on Thursday, where he was honored with France’s highest award, the Legion of Honour. This gesture further highlights the close ties between the two nations.
In a speech delivered on Thursday, President Macron emphasized the significance of India on the global stage, describing it as a historic powerhouse that will play a pivotal role in shaping the future. He also emphasized the strategic partnership and friendship between France and India.
The visit of Prime Minister Modi to France not only strengthens diplomatic ties but also highlights the mutual respect and cooperation between the two nations. The Bastille Day parade served as a platform to showcase the military prowess of both countries and underscored their commitment to collaboration in various sectors, including defense.
As the visit continues, discussions and agreements on various matters of mutual interest are expected to further strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and France. The shared vision for the future will drive continued cooperation and collaboration in diverse areas, contributing to the growth and prosperity of both nations.