Cong slams govt over Gandhi’s favourite hymn dropped from Beating Retreat ceremony

New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI) The Congress on Saturday attacked the government over the dropping of one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite Christian hymns ‘Abide With Me’ from this year’s Beating Retreat ceremony, alleging that it was another attempt to erase his legacy.

“Abide With Me”, written by Scottish Anglican poet and hymnologist Henry Francis Lyte in 1847, has been part of the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1950.

According to a brochure released by the Indian Army on Saturday, “Abide With Me” does not figure in this year’s Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29.

Reacting to the development, Congress Spokesperson Shama Mohamed tweeted, “Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite Hymn is dropped from the Republic Day Beating Retreat Ceremony. This is yet another attempt by this petty BJp govt to erase Bapu’s legacy.”

“No action was taken against @SadhviPragya_MP for her comments against Gandhiji. This is BJP’s love for Godse!” she said in another tweet.

Another Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said there was an “ideological war” going on between thoughts of Gandhi and the thoughts of his assassin Nathuram Godse.

“Currently, the government that is governing is a strong believer in the thoughts of Godse. They don’t take any action on people who say bad words for Gandhi ji. Government has time and again showed that it is against Gandhi ji’s ideas,” he alleged.

Congress leader Ajoy Kumar tweeted, “New India , No Amar Jyothi no Abide in Me during the Beating Retreat. Sicko’s BJP.”

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also attacked the government over the issue and asked that to rewrite ‘New India’, is it important to let go of precious traditions.

“Amar Jawan Jyoti without the eternal flame. Beating Retreat ceremony without the Abide with Me tune. To rewrite new India, is it important to let go of precious traditions?” she said in a tweet.

“A confident nation does not need to wipe out remnants of the past. Anyway, here’s to the end to another one,” Chaturvedi added.

This year’s ceremony will conclude with ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’, the brochure stated.

The Beating Retreat used to end with the “Abide With Me” hymn.

The brochure also listed 26 tunes that will be played at this year’s ceremony at Vijay Chowk.