This year for the first time bands from the State Police and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) will perform at the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony here tomorrow. The bands comprising Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) and Delhi Police will play the tunes ‘Samvidhan’, ‘Abhinandan’ and ‘Carriappa’. The Tri-Services Military Band, Indian classical instruments Sinfonietta and Jazz Symphonic Orchestra playing the tune ‘Agyat Youvana’ and the Indian Classical Instruments Sinfonietta playing the tune ‘Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyara Hai’ will add flavour to the ceremony. As many as 20 out of 26 performances have been composed by Indian musicians. Other tunes are ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja’, ‘Senani’, ‘Lounden’s Bonnie Woods and Braes’, ‘the High Road to Linton’, ‘Mili Juli’, ‘Grandeur’, ‘Redetzky’, ‘Pankhida’, ‘Galaxy Raiders’, ‘Inspirato’, ‘Air Born’, ‘Admirals Ensignia-II’, ‘Jai Bharati’, ‘Sam Bahadur’, ‘Dhola Re Dhola’, ‘Taqat Watan Ki Hamse Hai’, ‘Salam To The Soldiers’, ‘Marching Through Georgia’, ‘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 Cdr VC D’Cruz while military bands conductor will be Subedar Major Ramesh Singh and the Navy and Air Force bands commander will be Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician-I) Ramesh Chand and Junior Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar respectively. Buglers will perform under the leadership of Nb Sub Jagdish Giri and pipes and drums bands will play under the instructions of Sub Maj EV Vijayan.
‘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.