Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President at the closing ceremony of the 20th All India Police Band Competition, in Secunderabad, on 23 February, 2020.

Secunderabad, Telangana | February 23, 2020

“I am extremely happy to be here with all of you today at the Railway Sports Complex, Secunderabad in Telangana for the closing ceremony of the 20th All India Police Band Competition.

I convey my hearty congratulations to all the Police Bands present here, who represented various States, Union Territories and Central Police Organisations of India in this competition and made it to one of the most colorful and melodious events of the nation.

I am happy to learn that as many as 27 Police band teams consisting of 1600 Police/force band personnel from State Police, UT Police Forces, and Central Paramilitary Forces have participated in this year’s edition in streams such as Brass, Pipe Band, and Bugle calls.

This Competition represented the culmination of many hours of hard work for participating individuals and bands as well as the dedication of their Instructors, conductors, and organizers.

I am sure that the competition has provided an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas, notes, and expertise in the discipline of martial music and gave you all an opportunity to learn new tunes, skills, and instruments from fellow participants.

I feel events such as this foster cohesion and goodwill amongst participants and generate camaraderie and solidarity within the police fraternity.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Music has been an integral part of performance arts in the Indian tradition since Vedic times. Music which is considered as divine is capable of touching the heart and soul. It provides relaxation, gives perspective and transports listeners to a peaceful zone.

Music is Universal and transcends all boundaries. It has no religion or region. It unites people, builds a bonding and promotes peace.

Participation in any form of art, especially music brings out the best in a person. It invokes the creative aspects in a person.

Armed forces all over the world have the tradition of bands and Martial music. It has been employed in armed forces to infuse a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and togetherness . It arouses courage and valour amongst soldiers in the battlefield.

The ancient Indian text Natyashastra, a treatise on performing arts, written by Bharat Muni speaks about different aspects of arts., including expression such as “Veera Rasa” that invokes a heroic emotion or sense of bravery.

In ancient India, bands played a stellar role in arousing the 'Shaurya-Veera-Roudra Rasa' to the marching armies whose clarion call was to vanquish all Forces of evil and darkness.

In the past, music and musical sounds were also used to convey the orders, messages, and signals to the soldiers.

As you all are aware, many musical instruments like ‘Mahabheri, Dundubhi, Shanka' were used in ancient days in India as a mark of respect to the flag, commencement of the battle, demoralizing the opponent and as a symbol of celebration after decisive victory.

Sounds of Shankha, native horns and beating of drums heralded the might of great armies of India which fought valiantly.

The epic warriors like Lord Krishna, Bheema and others had a specific Shanka with a unique sound. The Shanka used by Krishna was known as Panchajanya and the one used by Bheema was known as Paundra.

Bands have been an integral part of Armed and Police Forces since time immemorial and played a significant role in boosting the morale of the Forces. Armed Forces bands, police bands compose and play the music that represents the qualities of a fearless person. Martial music has this essential quality. Its purpose is to inspire the forces, keep the spirit of self-assurance, determination &valor among the men and women on security duties.

In a democracy, military bands or police bands have become ceremonial but their role in instilling confidence, sense of patriotism and valour remains relevant. It is a fact that our heart fills with pride whenever we listen to a performance by a police band at official functions. The regimental tunes, traditional marching tunes played by bands during the Republic Day Parade and beating retreat ceremony are a treat to audiences.

The Band tradition of India’s three armed forces and that of the paramilitary forces represent the rich and diverse traditions of the country.

Police bands of our country evolved according to the customs. They play a vital role in promoting the spirit of communal harmony and national integration. Band music is Inspirational and can motivate, soothe or gladden one's heart.

Over the years, folk tunes, local sounds and instruments have been incorporated into band music to make the compositions more colourful and enjoyable. I was happy to listen to some of the tunes you have played in the competition. They were a mix of melody and message.

BSF, the Border Security Force has a Camel Contingent, It is the only camel mounted police band in the world, and the Central Reserve Police Force has a Brass Band. BSF also as a Mounted Band and Assam Rifles’ Pipe band are all known to us for their spectacular music.

I am happy to know that our bands have a good number of Indian musical instruments.

I appreciate all the composersand all the police bands took part in the competition and compliment them for keeping the music tradition alive in the forces. You all are doing the noble endeavour of preserving, protecting and promoting Indian Music and its traditions.

All the participants in this year’s competition are winners for me. All of you are the pride of our magnificent police forces and that of the entire nation.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Police forces have the pious responsibility of enforcing law and order, preventing crimes, responding to emergencies, and providing support services to people. It is important for all of you to live up to the expectations of the people with the motto of serving the people in need.

It is the responsibility of all the police personnel to make policing people-centric and police stations people-friendly and receptive.

There is a need to initiate further reforms to improve the ambiance in the police stations and to make them citizen-friendly. A person who wants to seek police help should not hesitate to go to a police station. It is the responsibility of the senior officers to ensure that the police stations and the personnel manning them are responsive and people- friendly.

Be proactive, service-oriented as well as be people-oriented so that public confidence in the system is always maintained.

You must remember that the police station is the first point of contact for people in distress. Ensure that the common man feels confident that his grievance will be heard and acted upon.

Smart policing is the way forward and it is essential to modernize the police forces by embracing technology and adopting innovative approaches. Police Forces must be trained in fields such as forensics, cyber crimes and online frauds.

In this aspect, I welcome the Government of India’s umbrella scheme of “Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)” aimed at supporting police forces for weapons, Forensics equipment,Information Technology, Communication, Training, etc.

Happy to learn that the scheme is also focused on facilitating targeted interventions and ‘mobility’ and ‘construction of police infrastructure including housing’ .

I appreciate the services of all police forces in maintaining law and order in the country, and also for protecting the country from internal threats. My special compliments to All India Police Sports Control Board, that has been organizing the national level band competition since 1997.

I convey my appreciation and felicitations to the Director-General Sri Arun Kumar of Railway Protection Force for organizing this august event.

I congratulate Mr. G.M Eswra Rao, 1G/RPF, South Central Railway, the Organizing Secretary of the Games and all his team members and all the participants and winners of the 20" Police Band Completion.

My best wishes for success of all your future endeavours.

JAI HIND!”