New Delhi: While French President Francois Hollande has been invited as the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations on 26th January, the 35th Infantry Regiment of France and the Musical Infantry Regiment will march along with Indian troops in the parade.
This will be the first time that a foreign contingent will march down Rajpath with the Indian Army as part of Republic Day celebrations.
The band is composed of 50 musicians and the Regiment animates official and formal ceremonies, being an essential element of public relations and a vehicle of communication for the French Army.
Being based in Lyon, many of its performances take place in the southeast quarter of France, but it also travels in the rest of mainland France and abroad during numerous international festivals. It has a wide and diverse repertoire.
Earlier, from 6th to 17th January, 56 "Gaillards" from the 35th Infantry participated in the third edition of the Indo-French military exercise, SHAKTI, in the Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan, along with the 2nd Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles, which fought in France during World War I.
"The French and the Indian troops were able to share their experience in a wide range of counter-terrorism operations, including in semi-urban conditions, under United Nations mandate," an official press statement said.
French President Francois Hollande will be the fifth French president to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations over the decades.