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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Abide With Me, Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn, dropped from Beating Retreat once again

The hymn had been played every year during the ceremony since 1950 but dropped in 2020 and reinstated last year after its exclusion created a furore.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 22, 2022 9:50:06 pm
The hymn had been played every year during the ceremony since 1950 but dropped in 2020 and reinstated last year after its exclusion created a furore | Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal

Abide With Me — Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn, which used to be played at the end of the Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29, on the eve of Gandhi’s death anniversary — has been dropped from the ceremony this year. Its exclusion in 2020 had created a furore following which it was reinstated last year.

The official list of the 26 tunes to be played in the Beating Retreat ceremony does not mention Abide With Me. The hymn had been played every year during the ceremony since 1950 but dropped in 2020. The hymn, by Henry Francis Lyte, is set to the tune of Eventide by William Henry Monk.

The ceremony will begin 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 L S Rupachandra.

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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. The Massed Bands will play three more tunes near the end, including Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja, Drummers Call, Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon.

The ceremony will end with Sare Jahan Se Accha by the Buglers. The entire event will see participation of 44 buglers, 16 trumpeters and 75 drummers.

Beating Retreat marks the end of nearly week-long festivities of the Republic Day, which used to begin on January 24 earlier, but starting this year, they will begin on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. This year, the country is celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Bose.

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