Delhi

With classical renditions and beats, Republic Day fete comes to a close

(Clockwise from top) Soldiers lower the Tricolour during the Beating Retreat ceremony at Raisina Hill on Wednesday; the President’s Bodyguards at the ceremony; Raisina Hill complex lit up in a riot of colours; a performance by the tri-service band.

(Clockwise from top) Soldiers lower the Tricolour during the Beating Retreat ceremony at Raisina Hill on Wednesday; the President’s Bodyguards at the ceremony; Raisina Hill complex lit up in a riot of colours; a performance by the tri-service band.   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

Beating Retreat ceremony ends with Abide With Me, Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn

As the sun sets behind the South Block and the shadows of the marching contingent grew longer, a mix of drum beats and classical renditions reverberated at Vijay Chowk, marking the culmination of the Republic Day celebrations on Wednesday.

With President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders present, Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the Beating Retreat ceremony with the loudest cheers from the audience.

From “Ganga Jamuna”, to “Samundra Manthan”, Indian tunes performed by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Central Armed Police Forces bands set the tone for the ceremony as silhouetted camels perched on the North and South Blocks formed the backdrop.

As opposed to reports of “Abide With Me” being replaced by Vande Mataram for this year’s celebrations, the ceremony ended with the hymn, said to be Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite, keeping in line with previous years.

Twenty-six-year old Okhla resident Sarita Naskar, who attended the ceremony for the third consecutive year, said, “I make it a point to attend the Beating Retreat parade every year. To sit in close proximity to the seat of power and watch the ceremony unfold is an experience which cannot be missed.”

Maria Thokchom, who was a first timer at the ceremony said: “While the foot-tapping renditions and formations by the Air Force band was the highlight for me, I was quite glad that “Abide With Me” was retained. It adds a good flavour and serves as a perfect mix with the Indian renditions played.”

As the ceremony drew to an end with “Saare Jahan se Achha” and with the bugle sounding for the retreat, Raisina Hills was illuminated amid a loud cheer from the crowd.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 1:55:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/with-classical-renditions-and-beats-republic-day-fete-comes-to-a-close/article30687762.ece

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