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'Aey Mere Watan ke Logon' highlights "Unity in Diversity" aspect of Indian soldiers

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By Payal Mehta

New Delhi | January 23, 2022 12:50:14 PM IST
After "Abide With Me", one of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymns, was been dropped from this year's Beating Retreat ceremony, the government sources on Sunday clarified that the "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo" has touching lyrics that highlights the "Unity in Diversity" aspect of the Indian soldiers and has a very mesmerizing and solemn impact.

To commemorate the Swarnim Vijay Varsh and as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, "Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon" is being played instead of 'Abide with me.'

The government sources said that the Beating the Retreat ceremony in India 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 is also said that during the initial years after independence, not many tunes of Indian origin were available and played by the bands.

The sources further added that over the years, Indian composers and band conductors have been able to compose tunes from India representing its wide and celebrated culture from various regions including folk music. These tunes have over a period of time been gradually introduced into the ceremony. Tunes that were introduced also represented vatious regions of the country.

Last year "Abide with Me", a solemn Christian hymn, was the only non-Indian tune played during the Beating the Retreat ceremony.

The patriotic song "Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon" written in Hindi by Kavi Pradeep, composed by C Ramchandra, and sung by singer Lata Mangeshkar pays tributes to the Indian soldier and commemorates their sacrifices. Its touching lyrics highlight the ' Unity in Diversity' aspect of the Indian soldiers and has a very mesmerizing and solemn impact.

The celebrated song has universal appeal and is an appropriate tribute to the brave soldiers of our Indian Armed Forces who have laid down the lives of our Nation. The song imbibes a sense of sacrifice and respect for those who have made sacrifices for our country over the past 75 years.

The Beating Retreat Ceremony Marks the culmination of the week-long celebration of Republic Day, With India being the world's largest democracy.

Phasing out of tunes handed down from a colonial past and including tunes that have a wider and deeper connection with the people of India is an exercise that is an ongoing one.

"Abide with Me" is a popular military tune but the lyrics for this are understood by a limited few.

The iconic tune and lyrics for "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo" has a far wider connection with the people of India. It is contextually far more appropriate to celebrate the valour and gallantry of the Armed Forces of India as compared to "Abide with Me" and the song also evokes a strong sense of patriotism with all Indians. It is for this reason, that in the 75th year of our Independence, we are making this change in the concluding performance of the Beating Retreat 2022. (ANI)

 
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