France is all set to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a red carpet reception during Bastille Day celebrations.
The gesture highlights France’s quest for closer ties with India, the world’s largest democracy and fast-growing economy. President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation comes after Modi’s recent state dinner in the United States, reflecting the growing interest of Western powers in India’s potential. The visit is expected to strengthen the strategic partnership between France and India, focusing on peace, security and economic cooperation in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region.
“The India-France strategic partnership is of great importance for the global good,” Macron’s office said in a statement, stressing on the shared vision of the two countries.
The two leaders have shown their strong friendship in the past, with Modi expressing his excitement on Twitter to meet his “friend” President Macron. The aim of the visit is not only to strengthen diplomatic relations but also to promote cooperation on defence, space and technology.
The red carpet reception coincides with India’s participation in the annual Bastille Day military parade, where Indian soldiers will join the event. The move marks a new phase in the partnership between the two countries and the growing involvement of France in Asia alongside other Western powers. Its purpose is to balance China’s increasing aggression in the region.
India’s growing economic power and diplomatic assertiveness have attracted worldwide attention. As Manoj Joshi, a geopolitical commentator, puts it, “China is becoming a tough market… and in terms of the size and strength of its economy, India is the perfect fit.” This has led to India being involved in security cooperation through the Quad alliance, which also includes the United States, Australia and Japan.
However, concerns remain regarding human rights and religious tolerance. Several lawmakers in the United States boycotted Modi’s joint address to Congress because of his human rights record. Rights groups have raised concerns about increasing discrimination and violence against India’s Muslim minority since the BJP came to power in 2014. In addition, India has been accused of suppressing free media, leading to a drop in press freedom rankings.
Despite these concerns, the warm welcome extended to Modi by France reflects the country’s desire to build a strong partnership with India. The visit not only symbolizes the deepening ties between the two countries, but also their shared commitment to peace, security and economic cooperation in an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape.