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‘Ekla Chalo Re’ to ‘Saare Jahan se Achha’ — military bands to play Indian tunes at Beating Retreat

At this year’s Beating Retreat ceremony, Indian tunes based on classical ragas will be performed by military bands. There will also be 3-D anamorphic projection and drone shows.

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New Delhi: The annual Beating Retreat ceremony, held every year on 29 January to mark the culmination of Republic Day celebrations, will witness “Indian tunes” based on classical ragas being performed by the country’s military bands.

Altogether, 29 tunes will be performed by bands of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

A drone show comprising 3,500 indigenous drones will also mark the ceremony held at New Delhi’s Vijay Chowk. A drone show was also part of the ceremony last year.

A 3-D anamorphic projection will also be organised during the ceremony and projected on the facade of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s North and South Blocks which overlook Vijay Chowk.

The ceremony traces its roots to the 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army developed the unique tradition of massed bands performing. Further, the ceremony honours a centuries-old military tradition of troops ceasing fighting, sheathing their arms and withdrawing from the battlefield at the sound of the retreat during sunset.

Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn, ‘Abide With Me’, traditionally performed at the ceremony, was permanently dropped last year.

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Ceremony to begin with Agniveer tune, end with ‘Saare Jahan se Achha’

President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be present at the ceremony.

The Union government stated Sunday in a statement that the ceremony would begin with the massed band’s ‘Agniveer’ tune, followed by the Pipes and Drum bands performing tunes like ‘Queen of Satpura’, ‘Almora’, and ‘Kedar Nath’, among others

The principal conductor of the ceremony will be Flight Lieutenant Leimapokpam Rupachandra Singh.

“The Army Band will be led by Subedar Major Diggar Singh, and the Naval and Air Force band commanders will be M. Anthoni Raj and Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar. The conductor of the State Police and CAPF bands will be Assistant Sub Inspector Prem Singh. The Buglers will perform under the leadership of Naib Subedar Santosh Kumar Pandey, and the pipes and drums band will play under the instructions of Subedar Major Baswaraj Vagge,” the statement added.

The Navy will perform the iconic ‘Ekla Chalo Re’ tune, while the Army will play fabled tunes like ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja’ and ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’. The Air Force band will play ‘Vayu Shakti’ and ‘Swadeshi’.

“The event will come to a close with the ever-popular tune of ‘Sare Jahan se Achha’,” the statement said.

(Edited by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri)

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