NEW DELHI: A daily, goose-stepping display of choreographed aggression by soldiers on the India-Pakistan border has been toned down because of knee injuries to the participants, a report said Wednesday.
For years, the military flag-lowering ceremony that takes place every evening at the Wagah border post has drawn crowds of partisan tourists who cheer every hostile strut and stare traded by the border guards on both sides. Despite the ritualised hostility, the show and the atmosphere surrounding it is one of good-natured rivalry and, according to the Hindustan Times, the two sides have now reached an agreement to take things a little easier.
"We had proposed a lowering of the aggression in the gestures during the daily parade, and subsequently took a unilateral decision to implement that," a senior Indian Border Security Force officer, Himmat Singh, told the Times. "Now, the Pakistan Rangers have also agreed to the proposal, and toned down their drill," Singh said.
The motivation for the change was more medical than diplomatic. The exaggerated boot-stomping that was a major feature of the ceremony had, Singh said, resulted in guards on both sides suffering "mild-to-severe" damage to joints in the lower half of their bodies, particularly the knees.
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