100 years of WWI: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to represent India at Paris ceremony

File photo of Vice-President Venakaiah Naidu. Photograph:( Others )

WION Delhi, India Nov 08, 2018, 10.02 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

India will be represented by Venkaiah Naidu at the commemoration ceremony of the centenary of the Armistice of World War I on 11th November.

The day marks the end of World War I with an armistice between allies and Germany. India has been keen to raise awareness about its role in the war.

India contributed hugely in both World War I and II in terms of manpower and resources and suffered from heavy losses.

India was also one of largest contributors of soldiers during World War I. Heads of State/Heads of Government of over 50 countries including US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin will join France's Macron at the ceremony to commemorate the armistice of World War I at Arc de Triomphe. 

The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said, "India’s participation at the Armistice Centenary ceremony will be a befitting tribute to the sacrifices made by these soldiers, underlining India’s historical contribution to global peace and security."

As part of the Armistice Centenary, the French Government will also be hosting the Paris Peace Forum, which will take place in Paris from 11-13 November 2018. The Forum is envisioned as a recurring, annual event to promote governance solutions in five key areas: Peace and Security, Environment, Development, New Technologies, and Inclusive Economy. The Vice President will speak at the high-level panel discussion titled, "Dialogue of the Continents on Global Governance.”

He will also inaugurate the Indian War Memorial at Villers Guislain on 10 November 2018. The memorial will have an Ashok Chakra and was announced by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her France visit earlier this year.

In the run-up to the ceremony, India has also adopted marigold as the flower of remembrance. Poppy being widely used in Europe as the flower of remembrance and marigold being adopted in India. The Marigold is chosen because it is easily and widely available in India and also because saffron is often seen as the colour of sacrifice. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laid a marigold wreath at India Gate during their visit in April 2016. 

PM Modi in his visits abroad has been paying homage to Indians who laid lives in the World Wars. He visited the martyrs memorial at Neuve-Chapelle and paid homage to 10,000 Indian soldiers who died during World War I, he became the first Indian prime minister to do so. During his Israel trip, the Prime Minister visited the Indian cemetery in the Israeli city of Haifa and paid respect to Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War I while protecting the city from the Ottomans.