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Republic Day 2022: MK Gandhi’s favourite Christian hymn ‘Abide by Me’ dropped from Beating Retreat Ceremony again

The hymn had been played every year during the Beating Retreat Ceremony since 1950 but was dropped in the year 2020. However, it was reinstated in the year 2021 after its exclusion created a huge outcry.

Ahead of the celebration of 73rd Republic Day, the Defence Ministry has decided to drop the Christian hymn ‘Abide by Me’ to be played at the Beating Retreat Ceremony on January 29. The official list of 26 tunes made public by the military band does not include hymn by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte ‘Abide by Me’, the tune of Eventide by William Henry Monk.

According to the reports, the hymn had been played every year during the Beating Retreat Ceremony since 1950 but was dropped in the year 2020. However, it was reinstated in the year 2021 after its exclusion created a huge outcry. The hymn is also said to be MK Gandhi’s favourite and used to be played at the ceremony on January 29, also the eve of Gandhi’s death anniversary.

In the year 2020, in an emphasis to add more Indian tunes to the ceremony, the Indian Defence Ministry had dropped ‘Abide by Me’ and replaced it with ‘Vande Mataram’. “Both ‘Abide by me’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ songs were favourites of MK Gandhi. However, ‘Vande Mataram’ has only been added to the ceremony tunes this year”, the official had said back then.

The Beating Retreat ceremony marks the formal culmination of week-long Republic Day celebrations. The grand ceremony that is held at Raisina Hills sees performances by bands of three wings of the armed forces- Army, Navy and Air Force.

This year the ceremony at Vijay Chowk will be graced by the participation of 44 Buglers, 16 Trumpeters and 75 drummers. It is reported that the Central Armed Police Forces bands will play three tunes, followed by four tunes by the Air Force Band. The Air Force Band will also include a special Ladakoo tune, by Flight Lt L S Rupachandra after which the Navy Band will play four tunes.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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