Addressing the Indian diaspora at the UNESCO HQ in Paris, France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, praised Indo-France relations. He also joked about India's massive football following for France. Similarly, he highlighted India's support for France during times of grief. In particular, he talked about the loss of renowned Indian scientist Dr.Homi Bhabha during the Air India crash of 1966.
"Bonjour Mamie. India and France's friendship is unbreakable and historic. We have worked together in all fields together. A good friendship is marked by being with one another in all situations. When there is any kind of progress in France or India we celebrate. In fact, we have more football fans of the France Football team in India more than France. When France won the Football World Cup we celebrated with pomp in India. Similarly, in times of grief, we stand with you. This was marked by the crash of two Air India planes in France when many Indian travellers lost their lives. One of them was the renowned scientist- Dr. Homi Bhabha," said PM Modi.
Prior to the address, PM Modi had remotely unveiled a Memorial for Air India crash victims (1950 and 1966) at St. Gervais. The unveiling ceremony was played at the venue and was shared by MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. He took to twitter to express India's heartfelt tribute to the victims of which one was late Dr. Bhabha. PM Modi too thanked the French tribute to Dr. Bhabha in his address.
A heartfelt tribute— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) August 23, 2019
PM @narendramodi remotely unveiled the Memorial for Air India crash victims in two airplane crashes in 1950 and 1966 at St. Gervais at a community event in #Paris. pic.twitter.com/Puczh2Ltqn
Thanking the Mayor of St. Gervais for his efforts in the construction of the memorial, he said, "I pay my humble respects to Dr. Homi Bhabha. The recently inaugurated memorial in the memory of that great son of India is an example of the friendship which we bear for each other." He continued," We (India) pays respects to those mountaineering guides who worked day and night in searching for the missing people, after the plane crash." He also thanked progress in technology which made it possible to get in touch with the families of those guides. He also thanked them of their sacrifice and efforts on behalf of India. He thanked President Emmanuel Macron for his hearty welcome.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in France on the first leg of his three-nation tour on Thursday. Upon arriving in France, PM Modi met French President Emmanuel Macron and held a bilateral meeting with him at the Château de Chantilly. PM Modi was received by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian at the airport. PM Modi said that the visit will add to the ground covered during the previous interactions with the French leadership. France is the first destination of his three-nation tour which includes- UAE and Bahrain.