Republic Day 2020: Christian Hymn ‘Abide By Me’ Dropped From Beating Retreat Ceremony; ‘Vande Mataram’ AddedRepresentative image

The traditional Christian hymn, ‘Abide with me’ played at the end of ‘Beating the Retreat ceremony’ (29 January) which is celebrated 3 days after the Republic day (26 January) will be dropped, reports The Hindu.

Indian Defence Ministry has dropped ‘Abide with me’, from the list of tunes for this year’s Beating the Retreat ceremony for the first time since 1950.

“The tune has been dropped this year,” a defence ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed on Tuesday (14 January). “There is a review of tunes every year. There is an effort to introduce new tunes and an emphasis to add more Indian tunes,” the official added.

Both ‘Abide by me’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ songs were favourite of Mahatma Gandhi. However, ‘Vande Mataram’ has only been added to the ceremony tunes this year, said an official.

According to the defence ministry officials, tunes are reviewed every time with new ones being added. The idea is to add Indian tunes and traditional Indian instruments.

‘Abide with me’ was written by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte and composed by William Henry Monk.

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