French National Day 2023: India and France to Strengthen Strategic Partnership on Bastille Day

French National Day, also known as Bastille Day, is celebrated on July 14 each year. It pays homage to the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a major event of the French Revolution.

Bastille Day also celebrates the Fête de la Fédération, which was celebrated on July 14, 1790. The Fête de la Fédération was a holiday of unity that took place one year after the storming of the Bastille. It was attended by more than 100,000 people and featured speeches, military parades and fireworks.

French National Day has a tragic history. In 1789, tensions between reformist and conservative factions were at an all-time high and the country was in the midst of an economic crisis. People were angry about food shortages and high taxes, which were being used to pay off King Louis XVI’s huge debts.

The militarization of Paris only served to increase the sense of threat, and on July 14, a mob marched on the Hôtel des Invalides, where they looted approximately 3,000 firearms and five cannons. However, these weapons required gunpowder, which was stored in the Bastille, which was a prison.

The mob arrived at the prison and negotiated with the governor, but when their demands were not met, they broke into an outer courtyard and a pitched battle broke out. When it was over, the people of Paris had freed the prisoners in the Bastille and taken the governor captive.

The storming of the Bastille was a symbolic act of the people’s rebellion against the monarchy and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. While the revolution would ultimately lead to the establishment of a republic, it also led to widespread violence and bloodshed.

Why is French National Day called Bastille Day?

The name “Bastille Day” is actually misinterpreted. Actually, the French don’t call it Bastille Day in French. The name is Fête du 14 juillet, which simply means “July 14th Celebration” according to the Library of Congress.

The name “Bastille Day” became popular in English-speaking countries after the American Revolution, when the storming of the Bastille was considered a symbol of freedom and democracy.

The French prefer not to call it Bastille Day. According to the Library of Congress “During the parliamentary debates that preceded the adoption of the Law of July 6, 1880, legislators explicitly declared that the date of July 14 commemorated both the Feast of the Federation of 1790 and the storming of the Bastille of 1789.

“Indeed, it appears that while many wanted to celebrate the storming of the Bastille, some lawmakers were uncomfortable celebrating such a violent event. Therefore, combining that revolutionary event with the celebration of 1790 was a way to make that date a more acceptable choice for some of the more conservative political factions of the time. Add.

What role will PM Modi play as guest of honour?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the guest of honor at the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris on July 14, 2023. This is a significant event as it marks the first time that an Indian prime minister has been invited to attend the Bastille Day. of the Bastille as guest of honor.

The visit coincides with the 25th anniversary of India’s oldest strategic partnership, which has been marked by “total convergence” since the two nations committed to it in 1998.

India and France celebrate 25 years of strategic partnership based on trust and friendship, which strengthens over time.

Dear @Narendra ModiWelcome to Paris.

—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron)
July 13, 2023

Prime Minister Modi in an interview with Les Echos mentioned, “We are at a turning point and we look forward to working on a roadmap for the next twenty-five years of partnership.”

The Prime Minister’s visit to France also marks the commercial relations between the two countries. On Thursday, India’s Defense Acquisition Council approved the purchase of 26 Rafale for the Indian Navy, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Paris. The deal was originally announced by the Indian Defense Ministry.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France on Bastille Day also serves another purpose. He is expected to deliver a speech in which he will highlight the strong ties between India and France. He is also likely to use the opportunity to discuss shared concerns, such as the rise of China and the need to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

In conclusion, Bastille Day is a day to remember the fight for freedom and democracy, and this year it has also become a day to celebrate the friendship between India and France.

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