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Beating Retreat Ceremony Embraces Local Cultural Note

by Madonna

In a departure from tradition, Monday’s Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk, concluding the Republic Day celebrations, will resonate with a new note deeply rooted in local cultural traditions. The musical parade will feature a ‘shankhnaad’ tune, reminiscent of the ceremonial blowing of a conch shell—a customary Indian practice to herald the commencement of events.

As the sun sets over Raisina Hills, President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Cabinet colleagues, and other dignitaries will witness this unique musical ritual. This follows the Republic Day parade on January 26, which itself showcased innovation with 100 women playing traditional Indian instruments, including blowing the conch shell, marking a departure from previous years’ displays at Kartavya Path.

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In recent years, the Beating Retreat ceremony has witnessed a shift in musical dynamics, embracing more Indian tunes and sidelining colonial martial music and Christian hymns like ‘Abide With Me.’ Notably, last year’s ceremony featured Indian tunes based on classical ragas and a spectacular drone show with 3,500 indigenously made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

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This year’s musical spectacle will involve the bands of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), including the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). A Ministry note reveals that these esteemed bands will showcase a repertoire of 31 captivating Indian tunes before the distinguished audience.

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The performance will include patriotic numbers such as ‘Veer Bharat,’ ‘Sangam Dur,’ ‘Deshon ka Sartaj Bharat,’ ‘Bhagirathi,’ and ‘Arjuna’ by the pipes and drums bands. CAPF bands will contribute with renditions like ‘Bharat Ke Jawan’ and ‘Vijay Bharat.’ The Indian Air Force band will play tunes such as ‘Tiger Hill,’ ‘Rejoice in Raisina,’ and ‘Swadeshi,’ while the Indian Navy band will enthrall the crowd with melodies like ‘INS Vikrant,’ ‘Mission Chandrayaan,’ ‘Jai Bharati,’ and ‘Hum Tayyar Hain.’

The patriotic fervor will escalate with the Indian Army band’s powerful renditions, including ‘Faulad Ka Jigar,’ ‘Agniveer,’ ‘Kargil 1999,’ and ‘Taqat Watan.’ The climax of the event will feature popular favorites like ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja,’ ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon,’ and ‘Drummers Call,’ culminating on the note of ‘Sare Jahan se Acha.’

Leading the musical ensemble will be Lt Col Vimal Joshi, with Subedar Major Moti Lal, MCPO MUS II M Antony, and Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar conducting the Army, Navy, and Air Force bands, respectively. Constable GD Ranidevi will serve as the conductor of the CAPF band, while Naib Subedar Umesh Kumar will lead the Buglers, and Subedar Major Rajender Singh will guide the Pipes and Drums band.

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