Curtain Raiser – Beating The Retreat 2017

This year, spectators at the Beating the Retreat ceremony will be enthralled with the mesmerising and foot tapping music of the bands from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the State Police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). As many as 26 performances on the historic Vijay Chowk, mostly composed by Indian musicians will thrill the audience with patriotic fervour. The tunes to be rendered are ‘Singarh’, ‘Patni Top’, ‘Mony Musk’, ‘Jak Wilson’, ‘General Tappy’, ‘The Gael’, ‘ Scotland the Brave’, ‘Jal Nidhi’, ‘Yaman’, ‘Sky Lark’, ‘Veer Bharat’, ‘Pyari Bhumi’, ‘Take to the Sky’, ‘Victory Dhun’, ‘Air Force Colours’, ‘Benihal’, ‘Indian Fleet’, ‘Admirals Ensignia’, ‘Jai Bharti’, ‘Appu’, ‘Call of the Heart’, ‘Gulmarg’, ‘Drummers Call’, ‘Army Star’, ‘Abide with Me’ and lastly the ever-popular ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’. While the tunes are a mix of Indian and Western compositions the dominance of the Desi tunes will add special flavour to the ceremony.

The ceremony at the Vijay Chowk on January 29th every year marks the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations. This year, 16 Military Bands, 16 Pipes and Drums Bands from Regimental Centres and Battalions are participating in Beating the Retreat ceremony. Besides one each of Indian Navy and Indian Air Force band will also form part of the event. Another band of the State Police and CAPF comprising Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Delhi Police will also take part.

The principal conductor of the Beating Retreat ceremony will be Sqn Ldr G Jayachandran while Army bands conductor will be Subedar Major Hemraj and the Navy and Air Force band commanders will be Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician-I) Ramesh Chand and Junior Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar respectively. The conductor of the State Police and CAPF bands will be Inspector Lal Singh. Buglers will perform under the leadership of Sub Parbat Singh and pipes and drums bands will play under the instructions of Sub Maj Gopal Singh.

‘Beating the Retreat’ has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded. 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. ‘Beating Retreat’ 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.



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