Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the Tourism & Cultural Affairs department to finalize the modalities for installation of the bust of legendary French General Jean Francois Allard, who headed the cavalry ‘Fauj-e-Khas’ of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in Amritsar.
The directive came during a meeting with a French delegation comprising Henri Prevost Allard, the deputy mayor of Saint Tropez in charge of Tourism & lineal descendant of General Allard, as well as Council president of Sikhs de France Ranjit Singh. Notably, Henri Allard is the fourth generation of General Allard’s lineage.
The initiative, said the Chief Minister, would help inculcate in the younger generation the knowledge of late General’s courage. A befitting tribute to the great military strategist, the bust would serve as a link in further strengthening the close ties between Saint Tropez and Punjab, and between France and India.
The visiting delegation extended an invitation to the Chief Minister to be the Guest of honour at the annual gathering to be held at Saint Tropez in June next year, to propagate the rich legacy of India-French military history. Captain Amarinder thanked the delegation for the same but expressed his inability to attend due to his busy schedule in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Responding to the request of the delegation, Captain Amarinder however agreed to attend the function to be held in Delhi during December this year for formal announcement of the annual gathering.
The Chief Minister presented to the delegation members his book ‘The Last Sunset’, which chronicles the rise and fall of the Sikh Empire besides the events leading upto Anglo Sikh Wars and the exile of Maharaj Duleep Singh. He also asked them to bring awareness amongst France’s younger generation on how the Punjabis held General Allard in high esteem due to his valiant deeds and enormous contribution in raising Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the vast Sikh empire.
It may be recalled that the bust of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was installed at Saint Tropez, the birth place of General Allard, in 2016 to promote a sense of goodwill, bonhomie and friendship between the two sides.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister was accompanied by his Media Advisor Raveen Thukral and Principal Secretary Tejveer Singh.