Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn ‘Abide With Me’ finds no place in Beating Retreat tunes once again
The hymn does not figure in the programme shared with the media. It has been a regular feature in the band since 1950.
‘Abide with me’ - Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn has once again been dropped from the iconic Beating Retreat ceremony on Republic Day. ‘Abide with me’ was written in the 19th century by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte and has been part of the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1950.
The Beating of the Retreat marks the end of the military’s Republic Day ceremonies on January 29.
The Christian hymn has been dropped from the list of tunes two years after it was first speculated. The hymn does not figure in the programme shared with the media. It has been a regular feature in the band since 1950.
It’s exclusion in 2020 had created a furore following which it was reinstated last year.
This comes a day after the controversy over the shifting of Amar Jawan Jyoti from India Gate -- where it existed for 50 years -- to the new National War Memorial.
The ceremony will start with ‘Fanfare by Buglers’, followed by ‘Veer Sainik’ by the Massed Bands and six tunes by the Pipes and Drums band. Bands of the Central Armed Police Forces will play three tunes, followed by four tunes by the Air Force Band, which will include a special Ladakoo tune, by Flight Lt LS Rupachandra.
The Navy Band will play four tunes, after which the Army Military Band will play three tunes — Kerala, Siki A Mole and Hind Ki Sena.
This year, Lata Mangeshkar's song ‘Ae mere watan ke logon’ was on the list of tunes other than military compositions. It will be followed by Iqbal's ‘Saare jahan se achha’, the last composition to be played.
About 30-35 tunes are played at the ceremony every year some of which are changed but ‘Abide by me’ has always been there.