DefenceIndian Army

Units Have English Names, Machinery, Customs… Army Examines Colonial Baggage

Story Highlights
  • Military funerals could be moved to contemporary hearse cars rather than gun carriages. The Indian Army will also go through unit names and insignia, the Crest of Colonial Times, officer's mess procedures, traditions, and customs.
  • For the first time since 1950, the government replaced the traditional hymn 'Abide With Me' in the Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29. The patriotic Hindi song 'Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon' was introduced in its place.

The Indian Army will evaluate some of its habits, ancient practises, laws, and policies in yet another step toward eradicating the British colonial heritage. A review meeting is being held after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked for stronger indigenization efforts in the Indian armed forces in March last year, whether in terms of apparatus, theories, processes, or customs.

Uniforms and accoutrements, units, establishments, institutes of colonial past, and English names of some of the units are among the legacy practises that will be reviewed.

The meeting, chaired by Adjutant General Lt Gen CB Ponnappa, would also explore renaming buildings, roads, parks, and institutions such as Auchinlek and Kitchener House, as well as the connection of Indian Army units with foreign militaries.

Pre-independence battle honours – bestowed by the British to pacify the Indian states and freedom, association with the Commonwealth Graves Commission, grant of Hony Commissions, and ceremonies such as beating a retreat and Colonel of the regiment system – must also be evaluated.

Military funerals could be moved to contemporary hearse cars rather than gun carriages. The Indian Army will also go through unit names and insignia, the Crest of Colonial Times, officer’s mess procedures, traditions, and customs.

For the first time since 1950, the government replaced the traditional hymn ‘Abide With Me’ in the Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29. The patriotic Hindi song ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’ was introduced in its place.

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