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Beating Retreat: Military Bands, Drones, Laser Show Mark End of Republic Day Celebrations

For the first time, a grand drone show was organised to dazzle the sky above the national capital during the Beating the Retreat ceremony as part of the country's 73rd Republic Day celebrations.

Updated: January 30, 2022 12:20 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Sanstuti Nath

Beating Retreat: Military Bands, Drones, Laser Show Mark End of Republic Day Celebrations
Beating Retreat 2022

New Delhi: Mesmerising military tunes echoed to the synchronised foot-tapping of soldiers of three wings of armed forces at Beating the Retreat ceremony held at Vijay Chowk on Saturday, with people enjoying the enchanting spectacle in the backdrop of a setting sun. For the first time, a grand drone show was organised to dazzle the sky above the national capital during the Beating the Retreat ceremony as part of the country’s 73rd Republic Day celebrations.

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The event was graced by President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Ram Nath Kovind. Other dignitaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, also witnessed the show.

Drone Show

  • The 10-minute drone show involving 1,000 drones commemorated 75 years of Independence, which is being celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. As per the Ministry of Defence, the show was conceptualised, designed, produced and choreographed under the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • The drone show was organised by startup ‘Botlab Dynamics’ and supported by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and the Department of Science and Technology.
  • During the show, the drones were fabricate through indigenous technology flew with synchronised background music. Martial musical tunes with Indian fervour were the flavour of the ceremony this year.

Bands and Tunes

  • A total of 26 performances enthraled the spectators with foot-tapping music played by the bands of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
  • The entry band was a Massed Band playing the ‘Veer Sainik’ tune. This was followed by Pipes and Drums Band, CAPF Band, Air Force Band, Naval Band, Army Military Band and Massed Bands.
  • Several new tunes were added to the ceremony this year to celebrate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. These include ‘Kerala’, ‘Hind ki Sena’ and ‘Ae Mere WatanKe Logon’. The event concluded with the ever-popular tune of ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’.
  • The Defence Ministry has included the patriotic song ‘Aey Mere Watan Ke Logo’ in the Beating the Retreat ceremony this year in an effort to “make the event more Indian”.
  • The hymn ‘Abide With Me’ was dropped from the event as per the details of the ceremony shared by Indian defence officials. Abide With Me was part of the ceremony held on January 29 every year as part of the culmination of the celebrations of Republic Day.
  • ‘Aey Mere Watan Ke Logon’ was chosen at a time when the hostilities with the Chinese are still on after a two-year military standoff. The song had become famous after it was sung by noted playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and written by legendary lyricist Kavi Pradeep for the soldiers who laid down their lives in the 1962 war.

Lazer Show

  • Another attraction of today’s ceremony was the projection mapping show to commemorate 75 years of the country’s independence.
  • The show of around 3-4 minutes duration showcased on the walls of North and South Block before the end of the ceremony.

Security Arrangements

Meanwhile, Delhi Police has fortified areas in and around Rajpath with multi-layer security, facial recognition systems and more than 1,000 CCTVs given the republic day celebrations. Vijay Chowk was closed for general traffic on Saturday from 2 pm to 9:30 pm in view of the Beating the Retreat Ceremony.

As per a traffic advisory from Delhi Traffic Police, traffic will be closed between the following stretches from 2:00 pm to 9:30 pm on January 29 in view of the event: Rafi Marg between Roundabout Sunehri Masjid and Roundabout Krishi Bhawan; Raisina Road from Roundabout Krishi Bhawan towards Vijay Chowk; Beyond Roundabout Dara Shikoh Road; Roundabout Krishna Menon Marg; Roundabout Sunehri Masjid towards Vijay Chowk and Rajpath between Vijay Chowk and ‘C’ Hexagon.

History Of ‘Beating the Retreat’

‘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. It is for this reason that the custom of standing still during the sounding of retreat has been retained to this day. Colours and standards are cased and flags lowered at retreats.

Drumbeats recall the days when troops, billeted in towns and cities, were recalled to their quarters at an appointed time in the evening. Based on these military traditions, the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony creates a mood of nostalgia for the times gone by.

(With Agency Inputs)

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