NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is to perform the ‘Shastra Puja’ (worship of weapons) on the occasion of Dussehra in Paris where he will receive the first Rafale fighter jet on Tuesday.
The Shashtra Puja is a ritual associated with Navratra where warriors re-dedicate their weapons to uphold justice and truth.
“The defence minister will perform the Shastra Puja in Paris on the occasion of Dussehra and also take a sortie in the aircraft from a French airbase in Paris to gain first-hand experience.IAF sources said a high-level team of the Indian Air Force is already in Paris to coordinate with the French officials on the handing over ceremony.
Singh is leaving for Paris on a three-day visit, primarily to receive the first of the 36 Rafale fighter jets on Tuesday, which coincides with Dussehra and the foundation day of the Indian Air Force. However, the first batch of four aircraft will come to India only by May next year.
On October 9, Singh is also scheduled to hold extensive talks with top defence brass of the French government on ways to further deepen defence and security cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited France in August during which both sides resolved to further enhance the already close defence ties between the two countries.