Actor Mohanlal to join Territorial Army today

via PNS | New Delhi published on July 8, 2009

Superstar Mohanlal will join the Territorial Army here on Thursday when Army chief General Deepak Kapoor pips the rank of a Lt Colonel on his uniform here in a simple ceremony. The 49-year-old actor will be the first actor to join the Territorial Army.

Popularly known as Amitabh Bachchan of the Malyalam film industry, Mohanlal will be joining the Madras Regiment as honorary Lt Colonel, officials said here on Wednesday. He went through the basic drill like marching and saluting here on Wednesday for the piping ceremony, they added.

The Territorial Army comprises people from all walks of life who carry on with their profession while serving the service as officers and personnel below officer rank. The Territorial Army has taken part in the 1971 India-Pakistan war besides serving in several areas over the last 60 years.

The force has exclusive ecological and engineer battalions besides doctors and other professionals. Former Union Minister KP Singh Deo and industrialist Kapil Mohan and many others are members of the Territorial Army. They served as officers in the force.

However, Mohanlal and famous cricketer Kapil Dev, who joined the Territorial Army last year as honorary Lt Colonel and commissioned into the Punjab Regiment, will be honorary officers, officials clarified.

Mohanlal did lead roles in movies such as Kirti Chakra and Kurukshetra, and played the role of a commando. Incidentally, Kurukshetra was based on the Kargil war in 1999.

The actor, who was awarded Padamshree in 2001, had visited Kargil a couple of months ago to undergo training and to be fit to accept the honorary rank of Lt Colonel.

After the piping ceremony, Lal is expected to visit his battalion and interact with the troops. He would also visit schools and colleges to meet youth and encourage them to join the Army, officers added.

Starting his film career in an experimental movie Thiranottam in 1978 at the age of 18, Mohanlal became a notable actor by playing the role of villain in Manjil virinja pookkal in 1980.

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