The military will continue with the tradition of playing “Abide with me” tune on grand Beating Retreat ceremony on 29 January to mark the conclusion of the Republic Day celebrations.
Beating Retreat ceremony
It is a musical ending of Republic Day celebrations by the three bands of the armed forces – army, navy and air force. Every year, the army bands play “Abide with me” at Vijay Chowk on 29 January since 1950 and it would follow the tradition this year too.
Earlier there were rumours of the army bands replacing “Abide with me” with VandeMatram but there is no official notification from the army. Also, it became clear on the rehearsal on Friday that the army bands would continue with the tradition of playing “Abide with me” tune.
Abide with me
Written in the early 19th century by Henry Francis Lyle and composed in 1861 by William Henry Monk, it was Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite Christian hymn. Also, it was a favourite of King George V of England. Also, the hymn was played at the annual Anzac Day services in Australia and New Zealand and at the associated military remembrance day celebrations in Canada and the UK. But it was first sung at Lyle’s own funeral.
It is a Sanskrit poem written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in 1870 but it acquired political incendiary Hindutva overtones overtime.The Modi government wanted VandeMataram to be included in Beating Retreat ceremony but the request was turned down by the army.