Celebrating the French National Day
On the occasion of our National Day, the Consulate General organized a reception which saw more than nine hundred and fifty people gathered together in the halls of the Taj Mahal Palace of Colaba.
Received by the Consul General and Mrs. Caroline Perrin, the guests were a mingle of our various economic, cultural and academic partners who work or collaborate with France in the constituency, and some came from quite far.
The Consuls General present in Bombay also came in good number on this occasion.
The members of the French community, naturally invited, were particularly present.
Distinguished guests, Dear colleagues and dear friends
We are here tonight, to celebrate the French National Day, which you also know as Bastille Day.
The storm of the Bastille is iconic but there was a second event which marked 1789.
The proclamation, signed by the king Louis the 16th, of the universal declaration of human rights, maybe the most important contribution of the French Revolution to the world.
In fact France proclaimed three declarations of human rights: in 89, in 93 and 95.
And if our present constitution retains the text of 89, the spirit of the Revolution is really highlighted in the preamble of the 93 Declaration.
I cannot resist the pleasure of reading a part of it.
« The French people, convinced that forgetfulness and contempt of the natural rights of man are the sole causes of the miseries of the world,
have resolved to set forth in a solemn declaration these sacred and inalienable rights, in order that all the citizens … may never allow themselves to be oppressed and debased by tyranny;
and in order that the people may always have before their eyes the foundations of their liberty and their welfare, the magistrate the rule of his duties, the legislator the purpose of his commission.. »
Most countries recognize the principles of the universal declaration of human rights, and for many nations these rights are the essence of their Constitution.
But the gap between the reality of today’s world and these ideals is getting wider.
Discrimination is endemic worldwide. Millions of people are displaced, even killed, because of who they are.
Thousands of people are imprisoned for what they said or thought.
Torture and political imprisonment, often without trial, are commonplaces, accepted and used, even in some democratic countries.
And, beyond these emblematic cases, the poverty, which afflicts billions of people all over the world, undermines the exercise of economic and social rights and restricts the enjoyment of fundamental rights.
Today, my hope is that the universal declaration, written two hundred and thirty years ago, could become again the symbol and the base of progress, modernism and humanism to which we all aspire.
Chers compatriotes, chers amis, je suis très heureux de vous voir encore une fois ici présents.
A chacun d’entre vous qui nous quittez, je voudrais souhaiter le meilleur dans vos vies personnelle et professionnelle à venir.
Je voudrais vous remercier, pour la qualité des relations entre la communauté française et le Consulat.
Elus consulaires, conseillers du commerce extérieur, ilotiers, parents d’élèves de l’école française, je vous sais gré du temps et de l’énergie que vous consacrez aux causes commune avec, en premier chef, la relocalisation de l’école, si importante.
Je vous en dis toute ma reconnaissance.
Last year I announced two upcoming events: Bonjour India festival and the visit of the French president, Emmanuel Macron;
Bonjour India saw three hundred events in thirty-three cities. Two examples only.
In Bombay, we hosted a temporary exhibition of 800m2 illustrating the Franco-Indian relationship. It received, even with modest publicity, 35 000 people in 10 days, at the Cross Maidan Garden.
Thanks Maharashtra’s and BMC’s administrations for their true help
We also hosted the Fabrikarum, which took place at the Maker’s Asylum, a fab-lab in Andheri, in partnership with a French association, My Human Kit.
During 5 days sixty-five participants, including fifteen with disabilities, have used their creativity to design projects to meet the daily challenges faced by disabled people.
Welcome tonight to some of them.
President Macron has visited India in March. This visit, illustrated by the cruise of Mr. Modi and Macron on the Ganges, was a great success.
The common declaration which closed it underlines more than forty points,
from strengthening our strategic partnership to sustainable mobility,
from space cooperation to smart cities, or from civil nuclear cooperation to reciprocal logistical support between our armed forces.
It shows how much our two countries are close to each other in this changing and more dangerous world.
Prime Minister Modi expressed at this occasion the wish that India participate in the ceremonies of the centenary of the First World War in Paris on November 11.
Today, I would like, once again, to pay tribute to the Indian soldiers who fought and died alongside soldiers from other countries, including France.
Before I finish, on a lighter note, I would like to thank our patrons, French and Indian companies, in equal measure, for this reception, which could not have been organized without them.
Thank you for your attention.
Vive l’amitié entre la France et l’Inde
Long live France and India friendship
Jai France aur India dosti !