First Foreign Contingent March Down At R-day Parade

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New Delhi: For the first time in the history of India’s Republic Day, a foreign military contingent took part in the annual parade in New Delhi on Tuesday.

On India’s 67th Republic Day, a 123-member French army contingent marched down Rajpath, Delhi’s own Champs Elysees, and presented a ceremonial salute to President Pranab Mukherjee.

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France’s president, Francois Hollande, the guest of honour for the Republic Day parade this year, applauded as his country’s contingent marched past on a cold and foggy morning.

The French army contingent was led by Lt Col Paul Bury. Its band, comprising nearly 50 musicians, is an essential element of public relations for the French Army.

Most of the Lyon-based band’s performances take place in the southeast quarter of France, but it also travels to the rest of mainland France and abroad for various international festivals.