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French President Hollande's visit

The India-France strategic relationship has generated a sense of comfort between the relevant government agencies. The Hollande visit focussed on initiatives that can strengthen business-to-business linkages and people-to-people contacts

 

French President François Hollande’s presence as chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade today is an occasion not just to advance cooperation in economic and strategic fields, but also to reflect on republics as systems of government and how they continuously learn from each other.

 

The contrast between the presence of the French president, François Hollande, at the Republic Day celebrations and a similar visit last year by Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, is emblematic of how misplaced India's public perceptions are of where its core interests lie.

 

Like many things French, the country’s relationship with India is an understated one. Yet, as President François Hollande wrapped up his three-day visit to India, it would be a mistake to underestimate what the India-France relationship has come to mean over the decades, devoid though it is of the grand claims attached to India’s relations with the big world powers.

 

The three-day visit to India of French President Francois Hollande underscored the growing political and business relationship between the two countries.

 

The participation of French troops in the Republic Day parade on Tuesday — the first ever by a foreign contingent on Rajpath since Independence — is doubly significant.

 

For India, Republic Day celebrations are an opportunity to recall the centrality and  sanctity of the Constitution and the principles enshrined in it on which the Republic is founded. The security and well-being of ‘We the People’ which resonates with the pulse of the French Revolution must remain paramount, writes C Uday Bhaskar for South Asia Monitor.

 
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The atmosphere is Paris is so dense it could be cut with a knife. Despite French protestations of defiance in the face of terror, the habitual insouciance of a people used to doing what they want, when they want, has evaporated. Instead, there’s a feeling of nagging anxiety, a watchfulness quite foreign to this nation of bon vivants.

 


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