Category Archives: Republic Day

Beating Retreat Ceremony (2019)


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Beating Retreat” is an old military tradition, dating back to the 16th century England when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield at the sounding of the Retreat and returned to their camps or castles, lowered their flags and cased their Colours and Standards.

On June 18, 1690, James II (England and Ireland) who was also the King of Scotland as James VII, had his drums beaten as an order for his troops to retreat. Later in 1694, an order from William III read “The Drum Major and Drummers of the Regiment which gives a Captain of the Main Guard are to beat the Retreat through the large street, or as may be ordered. They are to be answered by all the Drummers of the guards and by four Drummers of each Regiment in their respective Quarters“.

In the early 1950s, Major G.A. Roberts from the Grenadier battalion of the Indian army was asked to develop the “Beating Retreat’ ceremony as part of a military tattoo to display the musical prowess of massed bands comprising pipers, drummers, buglers and trumpeters from various regiment bands of the Army, Air Force and Navy.

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Beating Retreat Ceremony in New Delhi.

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The Indian Republic Day festivities officially culminate with the resplendent and colourful “Beating Retreat Ceremony” conducted on the evening of January 29, the third day after the Republic Day by the massed bands of the three wings of the military: the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy, along with the Central Armed Police Forces and the Delhi Police enthral the crowd with their exceptionally captivating foot-tapping music.

The venue is Raisina Hills and an adjacent square, Vijay Chowk, flanked by the north and south block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, towards the end of Rajpath.

On February 29, 2019, sixteen military bands, sixteen pipes and drums bands from regimental centres and battalions of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the State Police and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) participated in the Beating Retreat ceremony.

Out of the 27 tunes played eight were western and 19 were composed by Indian musicians.

The western tunes were: ‘Fanfare by Buglers’, ‘Sound Barrier’, ‘Emblazoned’, ‘Twilight’, ‘Alert (Post Horn Gallop)’, ‘Space Flight’, ‘Drummers Call’ and ‘Abide with me’.

The Indian tunes were: ‘Indian Star’, ‘Paharonki Rani’, ‘KumaoniGeet’, ‘Jai Janam Bhumi’, ‘Queen of Satpura’, ‘Marooni’, ‘Vijay’, ‘Soldier-My Valentine’, ‘Bhupal’, ‘Vijay Bharat’, ‘Aakash Ganga’, ‘Gangotri’, ‘Namaste India’, ‘Samudrika’, ‘Jai Bharat’, ‘Young India’, ‘Veerta Ki Misal’, ‘Amar Senani’ and ‘Bhumiputra’.

As usual, the event came to a close with the ever-popular tune of ‘Sare Jahan se Acha’.

Here is a video of the “Beating Retreat 2019 – Annual musical extravaganza” posted by Doordarshan National on YouTube:

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Some Compassionate and Humble Padma Shri 2019 Awardees.


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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The Bharat Ratna award

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On January 2, 1954, a press release from the office of the secretary to the President of India announced the creation of two civilian awards: Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, followed by the three-tier Padma Vibhushan, classified into “Pahela Warg” (Class I), “Dusra Warg” (Class II), and “Tisra Warg” (Class III).

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The three Padma awards

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On January 15, 1955, the three-tier Padma Vibhushan award was reclassified into three different awards: the Padma Vibhushan, the highest of the three, followed by the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri.

From 1954 onwards the Government of India honours its distinguished citizens on India’s Republic Day (26th January) by conferring the civilian awards for their services to the Republic of India. All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards.

The Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award is conferred on distinguished citizens of India in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the arts, education, industry, literature, science, sports, medicine, social service and public affairs. It has also been awarded to some distinguished individuals who were/are not citizens of India for their various services rendered to the Republic of India.

The recipients of the Padma Shri award receive only the award. It is just an honour without any monetary compensation. No cash allowance or any facility/benefit in terms of concession etc. in rail/air travel is attached to these awards. The awardees are not allowed to publicize their achievements.

The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardee’s name on letterheads, invitation cards, posters, books etc. In the case of any misuse, the awardee will forfeit the award. Though there are no specific criteria for withdrawing a Padma award, according to the awards’ statutes, the President of India may cancel and annul any award in the case of any misconduct committed by the recipient.

The Padma Shri Award Certificate

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The Padma Shri medal, obverse, reverse and the Ribbon.

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The Padma Shri decoration comprises a Certificate issued under the hand and seal of the President and a Medallion. The recipients are also given a replica of the medallion, which if they desire can be worn by them during any ceremonial/State functions.

A higher category of Padma award can be conferred on a person only where a period of at least five years has elapsed since conferment of the earlier Padma award. However, in highly deserving cases, relaxation can be made by the Awards Committee.

This year (2019), the Padma Shri was awarded to 94 persons. Of these 21 of the awardees are women, 11 persons from the category of foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI, three posthumous awardees and one transgender person.

What caught my attention most was the following 14 humble, compassionate, unassuming, unselfish and humane Padma Shri recipients ignored by the media caught my attention.

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The Chaiwala Guru of Cuttack: Devarapalli Prakash Rao  

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Environmentalist from  Karnataka: Saalumarada Thimmakka  

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Empowering Women: ‘Kalanjiam Shakti‘: Madurai Chinna Pillai 

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The ‘Lady Tarzan‘ of Jharkhand: Jamuna Tudu

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Caretaker of cows in Maratawada : Shaikh Shabbir Mamu

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Kissan Chachi‘: Rajkumari Devi

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India’s ‘Saviour of Cows’ from Germany:  Friederike Irina Bruning

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Carver of Canals with bare hands: Daitari Naik

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The Wonder Surgeon of Ladakh: Dr Tsering Norbu 

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The ‘Grassroot  Inventor’ from Assam: Dr Uddhab Kumar Bharali

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The Pioneer of Sickle Cell Research in India:  Dr Sudam Kate

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The developer of an improved variety of Cauliflower:
Jagdish Prasad Parikh

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Reviver of the dying Kutchi art of Rogan painting:
Abdul Gafoor Khatri

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The tribal woman from Koraput  promoting organic farming:
Kamala Pujhari

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