New Delhi: This year the Indian tunes will be the flavour of the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, tomorrow. As many as 20 out of 23 performances have been composed by Indian musicians. This year some ‘desi’ new tunes are being played for the first time like ‘Athulya Bharat’ ‘Vir Bharat’, ‘Chhana Bilauri’ and ‘Jai Janam Bhumi’. Other tunes are ‘Cutty’s Wedding’, ‘Deshon Ka Sartaj Bharat’, ‘Piper O’ Drumond’, ‘Gorkha Brigade’, ‘Ocean Splendour’, ‘Blue Field’, ‘Battle of the Sky’, ‘Anandloke’, ‘Indian Soldiers’, ‘Hathroi’,‘Dashing Desh’, ‘Flying Star’, ‘Glorious India’, ‘Bhupal’, ‘Salam to the Soldiers’, ‘Giri Raj’, ‘Drummers’ Call’, ‘Abide With Me’ and lastly the ever-popular ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’.
The ceremony at the Vijay Chowk on January 29th every year marks the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations. This year, 15 Military Bands, 18 Pipes and Drums Bands from Regimental Centres and Battalions are participating in Beating the Retreat Ceremony. Besides one each of Indian Navy and Indian Air Force band will also form part of the event.
The principal conductor of the Beating Retreat ceremony will be Major Girish Kumar U while military bands conductor will be Subedar Suresh Kumar and Navy and Air Force bands commander will be Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician-I) Ramesh Chand. Buglers will perform under the leadership of Subedar Prabhakaran and pipes and drums bands will play under the instructions of Subedar Mitter Dev.
‘Beating the Retreat’ has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands. ‘Beating Retreat’ marks a centuries old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates a nostalgia for the times gone by.