Shimla: Men and women in khaki in Himachal Pradesh are literally hitting a high note through melodious renditions — from performing in blockbuster television shows to connecting emotionally with patriotic songs on the country’s borders.
Himachal Pradesh Police’s famed orchestra team, ‘Harmony of the Pines’, performed this week on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah International Border near Amritsar in Punjab amidst the presence of thousands of spectators by singing ‘Sabse Aage Honge Hindustani’ sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Udit Narayan.
Our Orchestra, “Harmony of the Pines”, performing at the Indo- Pakistan Border in the BSF Pavilion Complex at Wagah- Attari, Amritsar yesterday evening.
— Sanjay Kundu, IPS (@sanjaykunduIPS) July 4, 2022
Border Security Force (BSF) troopers and the Pakistan Rangers perform a drill cheered by hundreds on the two sides as patriotic songs play in the background with chants of ‘Vande Matram’ and ‘Hindustan Zindabad’.
The flag-lowering, ceremonial drill and Beating Retreat is held every evening at the Joint Check Post, around 30 km from the holy city of Amritsar.
The entry of the public for the 40-minute flag-lowering ceremony at the land border was resumed on September 15 last year, an event marked by aggressive gestures and orchestrated boot-stomping, after remaining suspended since March 7, 2020, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The flag-lowering ceremony has become a major draw for tourists since 1959.
‘It was a great evening at Attari border. World Peace Rally witnessed a wonderful evening and celebrated in honor of the martyrs and their families. We are very thankful with the presence of ‘Harmony of the Pine Orchestra’ from Himachal Pradesh Police to participate in the programme ‘Ek Sham Shahido Ke Naama’,’ organiser Shree SAI Women and Children Welfare Trust tweeted on Monday.
Fifteen families of the BSF martyrs were honoured amid a musical event.
In the Colours TV reality show, ‘Hunarbaaz’, actress Hema Malini enjoyed the performances of the ‘Harmony of the Pines’ that reached the grand finale.
Massive respect for the Himachal Pradesh Police band – Harmony of The Pines ?
— Nigel D'Souza (@Nigel__DSouza) June 28, 2022
The orchestra, led by Sub-Inspector Vijay Sharma, sang for Hema Malini, ‘Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna’ and danced with her.
After its stellar performance in the television reality show that saw a band with the members serving in the police accomplishing the feat for the first time in history, state Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar honoured the orchestra team by presenting it the ‘Prernastrot Puraskar’.
On the occasion, the Governor said the ‘Harmony of the Pines’ could be used as a medium to convey the message to society. He said that these jawans of ‘khaki vardi’ were so artistic and talented which could not be described.
‘There is no match for their presentation. I am proud of them,’ Arlekar had said.
He had said after this achievement the mindset of the people towards the police would definitely change and it would further enhance the image of a people-friendly force.
According to Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu, the ‘Harmony of the Pines’ came into existence in 1996.
‘The orchestra started its journey with a humble beginning, wherein the talented police personnel of the state police were encouraged to perform in the programmes of the Police Department, charity-shows and programmes organised by the Red Cross Society. The orchestra also started performing in programmes organised by the Department of Language, Art and Culture, Doordarshan and other state-level fairs,’ he said.
The DGP said the police leadership has been continuously supporting the orchestra team so that they could further improve their skills. They have recently been provided with the latest musical instruments and accessories and efforts were also being made to provide them with a dedicated studio to record their songs.
On this week’s performance on the Indo-Pakistan border, Kundu tweeted on Monday, ‘Our orchestra, ‘Harmony of the Pines’, performing at the Indo-Pakistan Border in the BSF Pavilion Complex at Wagah-Attari, Amritsar, yesterday evening. Enjoy.’
A seasoned journalist with over two decades of experience, Vishal writes on a wide range of subjects which include biodiversity, climate change and links between environment & development. He also covers politics and other developments in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. He lives in Chandigarh & Shimla.