Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
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The 72nd Republic Day celebrations at the national capital was unlike any other year.

While the historical day is commemorated with elaborate displays, bravery awards and the much-awaited gravity-defying stunts by motorcycle-borne men at Rajpath, this year, due to the Covid-19 protocols, many of the major attractions were missing. Even the number of guests was reduced to 25,000 from around 1.25 lakh last year.

The curtailed celebrations, however, did not stop people from taking to social media to share some of the best moments from the parade. There was no foreign country ceremonial chief guest at the parade for an exception as British PM Boris Johnson withdrew at the last minute in wake of changed circumstance at home turf. Despite all the Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s parade was unique in many ways and both citizens and netizens of India showed their exuberance on the national day celebrations.

Like every year, the Republic Day celebration concluded with the Beating the Retreat ceremony on Friday 29th January at historic Vijay Chowk on Rajpath.26 soulful band performances, including special composition ‘Swarnim Vijay’ was played to commemorate 50 years of India’s victory in 1971 war against Pakistan.

Indian tunes were the flavour of this year’s ceremony that brought the curtains down on the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations. Fifteen military bands from regimental centres and battalions participated in the ceremony. Besides, there were performances by one band each of the Navy, the Air Force and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPs).

Beating the Retreat is a centuries-old military tradition. It dates back to the days when troops disengaged from battle at sunset. As soon as the buglers sounded the ‘retreat’ the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield. -TIN Bureau

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