New Delhi: The Beating Retreat ceremony was held on Sunday at the Vijay Chowk to mark the formal end of this year’s Republic Day celebrations.
The ceremony was graced by President Droupadi Murmu, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the historic Vijay Chowk in the national capital.
Tunes based on Indian classical ragas were the main highlight of ‘Beating the Retreat’ celebrations this year. Patriotic tunes emanating from the bands of the three services infused enthusiasm and patriotism among the people on the occasion.
A total of 29 captivating Indian tunes were played by music bands of Army, Navy, Air Force and State Police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) during the Beating Retreat amid rains at Vijay Chowk.
‘Agniveer’ was the first of the 29 tunes during the event, that was followed by the enthralling tunes like ‘Almora’, ‘Kedar Nath, ‘Sangam Dur’, ‘Queen of Satpura’, ‘Bhagirathi’, ‘Konkan Sundari’ by Pipes and Drums band.
The Pipes and Drum band presented ‘Almora’ composed by N.K. Jaman Singh. The CAPF presented ‘Pyari Bhumi’ at the ceremony.
The Indian Air Force band formed a formation representing ‘Charkha’ (spinning wheel) and a rendition of ‘Ishwar Jan ko’ followed this formation.
Indian Air Force Band played to the tunes of ‘Aparejeya Arjun’, ‘Charkha’, ‘Vayu Shakti’, ‘Swadeshi’ while the Indian Navy Band played to the tunes of ‘Ekla Chalo Re’, ‘Hum Ready Hain’ and ‘Jai Bharti’.
The Naval band displayed a formation of ‘Varunastra’ and ‘Charkha’ while performing a wide array of tunes and included ‘Ekla Chalo re’.
In a first, a three-dimensional anamorphic projection during the event on the facade of North and South blocks was among the highlights. Anamorphic sensors are speciality tools that affect how images get projected.
The Chief Moderator of the ceremony was Flight Lieutenant Limapokpam Roopchandra Singh. While the Army Band was led by Subedar Major Digar Singh, the Navy and Air Force bands were led by Commander M Anthony Raj and Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar.
The Defence Ministry in a statement said: “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. It 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 nostalgia for the times gone by.”