Republic Day parade National

All tunes of Indian origin at Beating Retreat in 75th year of Independence, says Government

President’s bodyguards mounted on their horses, take part in the rehearsal for the “Beating Retreat” ceremony in New Delhi. File

President’s bodyguards mounted on their horses, take part in the rehearsal for the “Beating Retreat” ceremony in New Delhi. File

Responding to criticism over the dropping of the hymn ‘Abide with me’ from ‘Beating Retreat’ this year , government sources said this year being the 75th year of Independence, playing of Indian tunes is considered more appropriate.

“This year, only Indian origin/indigenous tunes are on the list,” a government source said on Sunday. ‘Abide with me’ will not be played this year so as to include the maximum number of Indian tunes, the source said.

Also read: Songs of dusk: The stories behind hymns like “Abide with me”

Ae mere watan ke logon ’ is an Indian tune and pays respect to all who laid down their lives for the safety and integrity of the nation, the source added.

Phasing out of tunes handed down from a colonial past and including tunes that have a wider and deeper connect with the people of India is an exercise, another government source said. “Abide with me” is a popular military tune but its lyrics are understood by only a few.

Republic Day parade

At the Republic Day parade this year, there will be a total of 16 marching contingents, six from the Army, one each from the Navy and Air Force, four contingents from the Central Armed Police Forces, two from the National Cadet Corps, one from Delhi Police and one from the National Service Scheme, said Major General Alok Kackar, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area, in a briefing on the Army’s participation at the parade.

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, like last year, this year too, the parade will end at the National Stadium and not go up to the Red Fort, as is usually done, he stated.

In view of this, the size of the marching contingents, too, has been reduced from 144 to 96 individuals per contingent, another officer said. The number of attendees at the parade is significantly reduced in view of the large number of cases.

Also read: The abiding spirit

At the parade, the Army will showcase the evolution of its various uniforms and weapon systems over the decades, with new and modern weapon systems displayed alongside their legacy counterparts, Maj. Gen. Kacker said.

Of the six Army marching contingents, the first one would be the Rajput Regiment, with the uniform of the 1950s, carrying the .303 rifle; the Assam regiment, with uniform of the 1960s and .303 rifle; and the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in the 1970s uniform carrying the 7.62mm Self Loading Rifle (SLR). They will be followed by the Sikh Light Regiment and the Army Ordnance Corps contingents in the current uniforms, and 5.56 mm INSAS rifles. The last contingent will be the Parachute Regiment in the new combat uniform and carrying the Tavor rifles. The new combat uniform was first showcased at the Army Day parade on January 15.

Similarly, the mechanised contingents would showcase PT-76, Centurion and Arjun tanks; OT-62 Topas, BMP-I and BMP-II armoured personal carriers; 75/24 Toweed gun, 155mm Dhanush artillery guns; PMS/PMP and Sarvatra bridging equipment; HT-16 and Tarang Shakti electronic warfare systems, and end with Tiger Cat and Akash air defence systems.

Indigenous initiatives

The Navy’s tableau this year showcased its sustained focus on ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ initiatives and the Indian Navy’s contribution to the nation’s freedom struggle.

Lieutenant Preeti, an Education Officer posted at INS India in the national capital, said the tableau also showcases the multidimensional capabilities of the Navy.

Elaborating on the tableau, Lt Mayank Bhagour, an Aviation Officer currently posted at INS Rajali said the forward section of the tableau depicts the Naval uprising of 1946, an event which contributed to India’s struggle for Independence. “The rear section illustrates the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Navy, particularly for the period 1983 to 2021,” he stated.

On the tableau, a model of the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant with Light Combat Aircraft in air takes the centrestage, flanked by models of the indigenous missile Corvette Kora, the destroyer Visakhapatnam and the frigate Shivalik to the left, and the Scorpene class submarine Kalvari, frigate Godavari and destroyer Delhi on the right side.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 1:33:02 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-tunes-of-indian-origin-at-beating-the-retreat-in-75th-year-of-independence-says-govt/article38314345.ece