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Mohanlal to become a Lt Colonel

Rajaneesh Vilakudy | December 15, 2008 13:16 IST


Padmashree Bharat Lt Colonel Mohanlal. 

This title does not belong to a forthcoming film nor is it a figment of imagination. It is a fact. In a month, the nation will confer 48-year-old Malayalam actor, Mohanlal, with the honorary title of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army.

Mohanlal will be the first actor in the country to get such a prestigious title from the army. The only other celebrity to get this title is former cricket captain Kapil Dev [Images].

It is learnt that the chief of army recommended Mohanlal's name to the Defence Ministry. An official MoD communique is expected in a month.

"The proposal has been forwarded. A decision will be taken soon. I cannot reveal the details now,"  an officer in the Territorial Army said, seeking anonymity.  

Mohanlal, shooting for a film in the remote areas of Ooty, remained unavailable for comments.

It is perhaps the two army roles that he donned  -- in Keerthichakra  and Kurukshetra -- that led to this new development. Keerthichakra depicted the army's anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], while Kurukshetra dealt with the Kargil [Images] war.

"It will be a great honour. It is also heartening to know that I -- my films -- have been instrumental in Lal getting the honour," says Major Ravi, who directed both the films. The director will soon start work on a film on the Kandahar hijack, featuring Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan [Images].

The Territorial Army is a voluntary part-time civilian force that plays a key role in the defence of the country. It provides an opportunity to civilians to receive military training and also provides the country with a reserve force that can assist the regular army during operations, whenever required. However, it remains a honorary post.

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