General JJ Singh, former Chief of Army Staff of India, was made recently ‘Officier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur’ (Officer of the Legion of Honour) by France, at the French Embassy in Delhi.
On behalf of the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, conferred this highest French civilian distinction on General JJ Singh, at the Residence of the France, in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
“This honour comes in recognition of General JJ Singh’s stellar role in modernising the Indian Army and initiating robust exchanges between the Indian and the French armies for achieving unprecedented levels of cooperation and inter-operability, creating enduring ties and promoting mutual understanding between India and France”, explained the French Embassy.
Singh, a long time Francophile, gave his acceptance speech in both French and English and shared anecdotes about his special relationship with France, through his family history, dating back World War I and still vibrant in present days. The General’s son lives in France and was the first Sikh municipal councillor elected in France. Vivek Singh, who married a French citizen in 1998, was elected in 2014 to the municipal council in the town of Condé-sur-Vire, in French Normandie.
Gen JJ Singh’s friends and family, and many personalities, like Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmi Farooq Abdullah and author and consultant Suhel Seth, congratulated him at the ceremony.