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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

‘Abide With Me’ – Mahatma Gandhi’s Favorite Hymn Dropped from Republic Day Beating Retreat Ceremony

The massed bands of the security forces had been playing the tune every year since 1950

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Prachi Pisal
Prachi Pisal
Journalism student, covering India.

INDIA. New Delhi: After merging Amar Jawan Jyoti with National War Memorial, the Indian Government now has dropped ‘Abide with Me’, the English hymn, said to be Gandhi’s favorite, from the Beating Retreat ceremony. The ceremony will be held on January 29. The hymn was an emblem of remembering their fallen, above & beyond religious connotations. 

The hymn was written by Scottish hymnodist & poet Henry Francis Lyte in 1847. It has been a part of the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1950. The Centre had planned to drop ‘Abide With Me’ in 2020 too but had to cancel the decision due to uproar. This year, the authorities finally dropped the hymn, ignifying mixed backlash.

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On Saturday, January 22, the Indian army proclaimed that the hymn has been replaced by the Indian patriotic song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo (O’ People of My Country), originally sung by the Indian great Lata Mangeshkar, written by Kavi Pradeep. This tune pays respect to all who sacrificed much for the welfare & prosperity of the nation, according to lyrics

The Beating Retreat ceremony

The Beating Retreat ceremony marks the end of the Indian Republic Day celebrations. After the tune is played, the retreat buglers bring down the Indian flag at the dusk marking the end of Republic Day Celebrations.

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According to the Army’s press release note, Beating the Retreat is a centuries-old military tradition dating from the days when troops disengaged from the battle at sunset. As soon as the buglers sounded the retreat, the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield.

Every year the festivities begin on January 24, but this year, it will begin on January 23, as the indication of the 125th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose, according to sources.

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On Sunday, January 23, India’s Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi revealed the hologram statue of Bose at the India Gate, New Delhi as he announced that the statue of Bose will be installed, at the same place, to admire his inputs.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hologram statue. Photo Credit: Twitter

Just 2 days before the unveiling of the statue, on Friday, January 21, the authorities merged the Amar Jawan Jyoti with National War Memorial.

The ‘eternal flame’ that is, Amar Jawan Jyoti extinguished after 50 years as, it was built by the Indira Gandhi government to honor the soldiers who passed away in the Bangladesh liberation war, in 1971. The unification has now been called controversy, as opposition & many others connoted intense displeasure against the government for the string of decisions.

Also Read: India on 73rd Republic Day: Country’s Overall Economic Activity Remains Strong


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