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No children’s choir on January 26

The usual scene of a schoolchildren’s choir singing the National Anthem after the chief guest hoists the Tricolour will be missing at Gopal Maidan on January 26.

In a deviation from tradition, the East Singhbhum district administration has decided to do away with the practice of having a school choir leading the singing of the national anthem.

Instead, a pre-recorded tune of Jana Gana Mana will be played through a public address system for all to sing along.

The decision, taken at a district-level meeting chaired by deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal to review preparations for the function on Thursday, has been prompted by complaints about unsynchronised rendition of the national anthem by the children.

“There were complaints that students were usually out of sync and therefore, unable to lead the singing of the national anthem during the function. They are also unable to stick to the right duration of the song (officially, the national anthem is of 52 seconds). Hence, we have decided to play a pre-recorded tune of Jana Gana Mana this time. Everyone will sing along,” said East Singhbhum’s additional deputy commissioner Ganesh Kumar.

But students, who are bound to be disheartened, can take solace from the fact that the district administration has decided to hand over mementoes to all those who take part in the parade and also to all organisations putting up tableaux.

Earlier, only students of schools that finished among the top three in the parade and members of organisations whose tableaux won were given mementoes during Republic Day and Independence Day functions.

“We decided to felicitate all this year because giving mementoes to only winners defeats the basic objective of the Republic Day function. So all participants — schools, NGOs, corporate bodies, administration and police units — will be honoured,” Ganesh Kumar added.

Rehearsal for the parade will be held from January 20 to 24 at Gopal Maidan.

Corporate entities, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors and UCIL, along with government departments like education, health, civil defence and NGOs, put up tableaux on the occasion.

On Republic Day, traffic police will enforce no-entry rules in the city for heavy vehicles from 6am to 1.30pm, while Tata Motors will arrange vehicles for ferrying students from their respective schools to Gopal Maidan.

The administration has formed three committees to look after the event. While one of the panels has been tasked to oversee the parade, the national anthem’s tune and flag hoisting, another committee is in charge of the tableaux.

The third one will take care of miscellaneous works like seating arrangements for dignitaries, first aid, fire measures and public announcements.