What is the Beating Retreat Ceremony?
- Also called ‘Beating the Retreat’ and earlier termed the ceremony traces its origin in India to the early 1950s, as per the Union government’s Ministry of Culture website, “When Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands”.
- The idea marks a centuries-old military tradition when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield to return to their camps at sunset at the sound of the Retreat. It would be accompanied by certain protocols, such as the lowering of flags.
Who is present at the Beating Retreat?
- The ceremony is usually attended by the President, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister and Defence Minister.
- The President of India arrives in a cavalry unit escorted by the ‘President’s Bodyguards’ (PBG). When the President arrives, the PBG commander asks the unit to give the National Salute, which is followed by the playing of the Indian National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana.
Why in News?
- Beating the Retreat ceremony marking the culmination of four-day-long Republic Day celebrations was held at the historic Vijay Chowk in New Delhi.