Responding to criticism over the dropping of the hymn ‘Abide with me’ from ‘Beating Retreat’ this year, government sources said this year being the 75th year of Independence, playing of Indian tunes is considered more appropriate.
“This year, only Indian origin/indigenous tunes are on the list,” a government source said on Sunday. ‘Abide with me’ will not be played this year so as to include the maximum number of Indian tunes, the source said.
‘Ae mere watan ke logon’ is an Indian tune and pays respect to all who laid down their lives for the safety and integrity of the nation, the source added.
Phasing out of tunes handed down from a colonial past and including tunes that have a wider and deeper connect with the people of India is an exercise, another government source said. “Abide with me” is a popular military tune but its lyrics are understood by only a few.
Republic Day parade
At the Republic Day parade this year, there will be a total of 16 marching contingents, six from the Army, one each from the Navy and Air Force, four contingents from the Central Armed Police Forces, two from the National Cadet Corps, one from Delhi Police and one from the National Service Scheme, said Major General Alok Kackar, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area, in a briefing on the Army’s participation at the parade.
Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, like last year, this year too, the parade will end at the National Stadium and not go up to the Red Fort, as is usually done, he stated.