'Abide With Me', one of Mahatama Gandhi's favourite hymns, has been dropped from this year’s Beating Retreat ceremony, as can be gleaned from a brochure released by the Indian Army on Saturday, 22 January.
The hymn's place will reportedly be taken by Lata Mangeshkar's 'Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo.'
Beating Retreat is a military tradition that has trickled down from the time when troops would disengage from battle at sunset.
The Opposition has alleged that the removal of the hymn is a bid by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to erase the Mahatama's legacy, and a manifestation of the seeming "love for Godse".
Gandhi's Favourite Hymn
Penned by Scottish Anglican poet and hymnologist Henry Francis Lyte in the nineteenth century, the hymn has been part of India’s Beating Retreat ceremony since 1950.
Gandhi had first heard a rendition of the hymn by Mysore Palace Band and, as per reports, could not forget it. The hymn over the years was also heard at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.
This development has, however, attracted flak from several Congress leaders.
'Attempt to Erase Bapu's Legacy'
Several other prominent political and public figures also believe that the putting out and merging of Amar Jawan Jyoti flame, as well as a beating retreat ceremony sans the ‘Abide with Me’ hymn, is wiping out of history.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)