Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will officially receive the first Rafale combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force in France today, a move that will significantly enhance the country’s aerial combat capability.
The Defence Minister will accept the aircraft from the French team at the Merignac air base near Bordeaux on the occasion of Air Force Day. Singh will also meet French President Emmanuel Macron and the two leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, before leaving for Bordeaux.
The Defence Minister will perform ‘Shastra Puja’, a ritual involving the worship of weapons, before he receives the first state-of-the-art Rafale fighter jet.
Shastra Puja has been a part of Indian tradition for thousands of years. Rajput warrior king Maharana Pratap was known to perform Shastra Puja before embarking for battle against his enemies. On the auspicious occasion of Vijaya Dashami, in keeping with tradition, people still perform Shastra Puja in some parts of the country.