New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is set to fly to France to receive the first batch of Rafale jets, will perform the ‘Shastra Puja’ (worship of weapons) in Paris. As per Hindu traditions, warriors perform puja of their arms and weapons.
“During his days as Home Minister, Rajnath Singh would perform Shastra puja every Dussehra. Now as a defence minister also, he would continue the tradition,” Defence officials close to Rajnath Singh said.
The Minister will be meeting French President Emanuel Macron and then proceed to Bordeaux for receiving the first Rafale aircraft made for India. Top military brass of France as well as senior officials of Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, will also be present at the handing over ceremony.
India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. While the formal induction will happen on October 8, the first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India only next April-May. All 36 fighter planes will arrive by September 2022, a small step on the long road towards building a stronger air force.