Mohanlal under Indian Army scanner for uniform misuse
New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Two years after feting him with honorary Lieutenant Colonel's rank, the Territorial Army has taken serious note of reports that Malayalam movie star Mohanlal had allegedly misused his uniform for commercial purposes in Kerala government advertisements to promote tourism. The actor has denied the allegation.
Officers at the Army Headquarters here said they have received reports that Mohanlal, considered to be one of Kerala's topmost film actor, had passed off as a war hero in a television advertisement aired in December 2010 and January 2011 during the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival promoted by the state's tourism department.
This, the officers said, was against the rules under which he was conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2009. The honorary rank conferment rules stipulate that the uniform be worn only on ceremonial occasions, while on training with his Territorial Army unit, and at official functions.
The honorary rank is conferred by the army on achievers to have them as role models and inspire the country's youth to join the armed forces.
The army has in the recent years also conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel on India's leading sportspersons, including 1983 World Cup winning Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev, 2011 World Cup winning cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra.
The reports had suggested that Mohanlal had in a series of advertisements presented himself in army uniform, claiming to be a 1971 war hero, a National Security Guard (NSG) commando, a gallantry medal winner and a recipient of the army chief's commendation card.
He was reportedly paid Rs.50 lakh for the advertisement shot by his own production house, Ashirwad Films.
The advertisements were noticed by a retired army Brigadier, who is reported to have lodged a complaint with the army in this regard.
Mohanlal, speaking to IANS, said the costume used in the advertisement for the Kerala tourism department was the one he had worn for his role in the Malayalam film "Kandahar".
"It's just like any film hoarding and it has got nothing to do with the Lt. Col. uniform in the Territorial Army. You should also see that the advertisement mentions my character in the film. In fact, I did this for the Kerala government and I have not collected any professional fees for it," said Mohanlal.
The other day at the canteen of St Xaviers college in Thumba, a suburb of Thiruvananthapuram, Mohanlal dressed in the uniform of a Indian Coffee House (ICH) waiter was shooting a song for Thulasidass College Kumaran.
Mohanlal, during the break went down memory lane. Said Mohanlal: For me ICH brings back good memories of my college days in Thiruvananthapuram in the late 70s, when all of us (Priyadarsan, Suresh Kumar, M.G Sreekumar and others) used to hang around in ICH, which was at Spencer Junction and have innumerable cups of coffee.
Mohanlal plays Kumaran a college drop out who runs a college canteen in the film. College Kumaran is a movie focusing on campus friendship, love, fights, heartbeats, youth festivals, and politics.
College Kumaran is Mohanlals next big release on January 26.
Mohanlal to play freedom fighter in Indo-Japanese film
2006/11/30 13:05:20 Unsung hero Ayyapanpillai Madhavan Nair, who fought India's British rulers from Japan, will be portrayed by south Indian film star Mohanlal in a movie based on his life.
"This will be a co-production between Japan and India. Japan's PAL Entertainment Production will produce it with an Indian producer," said Albert, a well-known south Indian director who is finalising the project.
Leading Japanese actress Shunsuke Matosuoka will star opposite Mohanlal in the film that will depict the era between 1920 and 1970, he said on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India here.
"The film will be made in three languages -- Malaylam, Japanese and English -- depending on the scenes. We don't want to lose the essence of the story on the language issue. We are producing a realistic film, it's not fiction," said Albert, who has won awards like the Aravindan Puraskaram and Padmarajan special jury award.
Nair, popularly known as Nairsan, hailed from Kerala and worked from Japan, rubbing shoulders with freedom fighters like Rash Behari Bose, one of the founders of the Indian National Army (INA), Albert said.
"Nairsan lived in Japan for over half a century and spent several years in Manchuria. There, he was an unofficial advisor to the Manchukuo government and the Kwangtung army. He also conducted an anti-colonial movement against British imperialism in India and other parts of Asia," said Albert, who is finalising the Indian producer for the venture.
2011/10/31 16:30:42 New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra will officially don the olive green uniform and be conferred the rank of honorary Lt. Col. in the Territorial Army Tuesday.
"Dhoni and Bindra will be conferred the honorary rank of Lt. Col. tomorrow (Tuesday)," an army officer said here Monday.
President Pratibha Patil had approved the grant of honorary commissions to the two sportspersons on Sep 13 this year as a recognition of their achievements in their respective sport.
Dhoni led India to the cricket world cup victory earlier this year and was instrumental in taking the team to the top spot in test cricket rankings for the first time ever last year. He had also led the team to the T20 cricket inaugural world championship in 2007.
Bindra had won the only individual Olympic gold medal for India at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The two sportspersons will join an elite group of personalities, including senior cricketers Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar, who have been conferred honorary ranks in the armed forces.
Kapil Dev was conferred the honorary Lt. Col. rank in the Territorial Army in 2008, while Tendulkar was made honorary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2010.
2011/10/23 12:50:58 (IANS) An Indian army helicopter that strayed into Pakistan Sunday and was forced to land there has returned to India after being released by Pakistani authorities, an Indian official said.
"The chopper returned to Kargil (in Jammu and Kashmir) at around 6 p.m.," Virendra Singh, the army's assistant public relations officer, told IANS.
Dhoni, Bindra join elite group as honorary Lt. Colonels
New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) India's cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Olympian gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra Tuesday officially became honorary Lieutenant Colonels in the Territorial Army with the army chief, Gen. V.K. Singh, pipping their ranks on their shoulders.
President Pratibha Patil had approved the grant of honorary commissions to the two illustrious sportspersons on Sep 13 in recognition of their achievements in their respective sports.
Dhoni led India to victory in the cricket World Cup earlier this year and was instrumental in taking the team to the top spot in Test rankings for the first time last year. He had also led the team to victory in the inaugural T20 World championship in 2007.
Bindra won the only individual Olympic gold medal for India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Along with the two sportsmen, the army also honoured Deepak Rao, a medical doctor by qualification but a martial arts specialist by choice, who got about 15,000 of the army troops trained in close quarter combat, with the rank of a Major.
While Dhoni and Deepak Rao were commissioned into the elite Para Regiment in the presence of the Colonel of the Regiment, Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia, Bindra was welcomed into the Sikh Regiment by Lt. Gen. Sumer Singh, its Colonel of teh Regiment.
"I have got the maroon beret now, but I have to earn it," Dhoni said soon after, pointing out that becoming a member of the elite Parachute Regiment was not child's play and involved rigorous combat and airborne operations training.
"I will soon find time to go for my training, will meet with the soldiers on the borders and encourage youth to join the army," said Dhoni, who has earlier interacted with army personnel during visits to cantonments. He was asked by his wife Sakshi, how he would contribute to the army.
"Joining the Territorial Army and donning this uniform is a childhood dream come true for me," he added.
On his choice of the Para Regiment, the cricketer said he wanted to be part of a regiment that had members from all over the country and from all regiments of the Indian Army, and hence the choice narrowed down to the Para Regiment.
Bindra, his usual humble self, said his interaction with the army was relatively new and hence he would learn more now that he is donning the Olive Green uniform.
Rao, who has Annaji as his middle name, has been training all the elite forces of the country, including the National Security Guard, for 18 years now, having developed his own unique style of close quarter combat.
Asked how he would contribute, Rao said he had only trained 15,000 soldiers till date, but the armed forces were 14 lakh strong. "I have many more years to go," he said.
The two sports personalities and the martial arts expert joined an exclusive group of personalities, including senior cricketers Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar, who have been conferred honorary ranks in the armed forces.
Kapil Dev was conferred the honorary Lt. Col. rank in the Territorial Army in 2008, while Tendulkar was made honorary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2010.
General VK Singh says Army units movement story absolutely stupid
2012/4/5 8:06:42 Army Chief General VK Singh on Thursday joined the political leadership in dismissing 'The Indian Express' story on the suspicious movement of two key Army units towards Delhi in January 2012, which reportedly "spooked" the Central Government.
After the government trashed the Indian Express report that said the army had moved two units towards Delhi on the night of January 16 without informing the powers-that-be, army Chief General VK Singh too has dismissed it as stupid and baseless.The Army Chief is in Kathmandu to attend a three-day seminar on Natural Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.
'The Indian Express' on Wednesday said it stood by the report that came after investigation over six weeks and was jointly written by the newspaperâs Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta. In a statement, the newspaper said the report "The January night Raisina Hills was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying government" has, as expected, prompted widespread reaction.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh and defense minister AK Antony rubbished the report terming it "absolutely baseless". "These are alarmist reports. They should not be taken at face value," Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan. "The Army Chief's office is an exalted office and nothing should be done to lower its dignity," Vk Singh added.
A report in The Indian Express claimed that the Indian Army had moved two units towards New Delhi without notifying the government on January 16. An investigation by the Indian Express newspaper claims that the incident took place hours after Army Chief General VK Singh had moved the Supreme Court on his age controversy.
The Indian Army also rubbished the report saying the movement of Army troops was routine with De fence Minister AK Antony calling it as 'totally baseless'. "There is nothing unusual in such movement of Army troops. The Army has explained this. We are confident about the patriotism of the Armed forces," Antony said. "Indian armed forces will do nothing to undermine democracy," he added.
Former defense officers, senior bureaucrats and journalist said that there was indeed a widening fissure between the Indian Army and the Central Government, leading to such speculations. The newspaper report said that the defense secretary, who was in Malaysia on January 16, had to rush back to the country. The secretary did come back but it was to oversee the government's representation in court on the case pertaining to the general's age.
In Tamil, many army stories are being made, mostly amateurish efforts. These films are made by people who have not even set eyes on real guns or cannons.
An exception is 'Aran.' Ravi who served as a Major in the Indian army, directed this film, so the film depicts the real face of the Indian army. The Malayalam version 'Kirtichakra' was more successful than the Tamil version.
Major Ravi wants to make a sequel to 'Aran' and he has expressed his hope that Mohanlal and Kamal Hasan would act in it. Knowing that is a distant dream, he has gone ahead with Mammootty and started directing 'Mission 90 Days' in Malayalam.
This film has as its background, the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. Mammootty acts as a commando and Tulip Joshi as his wife.
Ravi has spoken to officers who were connected with the investigation and evolved his screenplay. Since the stay order on 'Kutrapathrikai' that was based on the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, was removed, Ravi went ahead with the making of 'Mission 90 Days.'
2011/10/5 12:58:25 The Army recruitment rally scheduled to be held at Prakasham Stadium, Kothagudem from October 10th to 15th to select candidates from Telangana districts for different trades in the Army, has been postponed till further notification.
According to a communication from Branch Army Recruitment Office, Bowenpally, Secunderabad, the step has been taken in view of the agitation âSakala Janula Sammeâ in Telangana Region. (INN)
2011/10/27 15:13:38 Infantry, the largest fighting arm of the Indian Army, popularly known as âQueen of the Battleâ celebrated its 64th Infantry Day here on Thursday.
As part of the celebrations, a âWreath Layingâ ceremony was held at Veerula Smarka, the War Memorial, at Army Parade Ground, Secunderabad. Major General Sandeep Singh, Commandant MCEME and Major General C A Krishnan, GOC, Andhra Sub Area laid the wreath on the occasion. A two minutes silence was also observed to pay homage to the War Martyrs. Wreaths were also laid by JCOs and retired officers of the army.
The day has a unique significance for Infantry, as it was on this day in 1947, that the Infantrymen had first air landed at Srinagar and reversed the tide of a fierce battle in Kashmir that saved the State of Jammu and Kashmir from falling into the hands of Pakistani mercenaries. To commemorate their heroic deeds, gallant actions and supreme sacrifice, Infantry Day is celebrated on 27 October every year. (INN)
In a shocking turn around, Mohanlal's College Kumaran has collapsed at the Kerala box-office! Last week we had written that the film on the opening day, put up a decent show and may hold on. But on the contrary, it started dropping all over and has touched 'hold over' in many places by the end of the first week!
Now it is more or less confirmed that College Kumaran is Mohanlal's fifth flop in a row. The collections from Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Kannur, Trichur and Palakkad are pathetic as audiences are just not patronizing the film. The film is unlikely to cross Rs 1 crore distributors share from releasing stations.
Remember Mohanlal is rumoured to have been paid his highest ever salary of Rs 1.25 crore for this film, and now it looks like it will not cover his fee! The fifth consecutive failure of Mohanlal is bad news not only for the star but for the entire Malayalam film industry as a whole.
Mohanlal and Mammootty are the industries last pillars who hold the Malayalam film industry together from the invading army of Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films which is slowly but surely taking over the Kerala box-office!
We cannot afford to reduce Mohanlal to another Jayaram or Kunchacko Bobban, because the man symbolizes Malayalam cinema along with Mammootty.
Let us hope that in future Mohanlal will read his script with a little more care and give his valuable dates to directors who can bring out something new in his characterization and presentation.
Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi is planning to foray into Malayalam movies. According to the latest reports, the actor will share the screen space with Malayalam Super star Mohanlal for the new film directed by Major Ravi, titled Kargil.
The movie based on a plot surrounding the army operations in 'Kargil', will be an Onam offering from the team. Kargil' will be produced by Santhosh Damodharan in the banner of Damor Films.
Vivek has been a familiar name in the Kerala circuit right from his debut days, with Mohanlal in the Hindi movie 'Company' which was a big hit. Thereafter the actor has been a regular in Kerala circles. He has also been a regular pilgrim during the sabarimala season.
Major Ravis earlier ventures like 'Keerthi Chakra' and Mission 90 Days were all based on his personal experiences while serving as a Major in the army.
The earthquake Sunday damaged some Indian Army bunkers in eastern Sikkim near Nathu-La pass along the India-China border and left many soldiers injured, said sources.
Helicopters were deployed to evacuate the soldiers, said sources adding that on-ground army installations were intact. The required soldier strength in the sensitive area was in place, they said.
The 6.8-magnitude quake of around two minutes followed by after-shocks rocked the region and caused the damage to the bunkers. According to sources, rescue work was getting affected because of land slides in the area as a result of torrential rains in the past two days.
Army contingents in small teams have been deployed in rescue missions across Sikkim to provide humanitarian assistance. Army units comprising medical teams, engineer detachments as also personnel for relief and rescue operation have been pressed into service, said sources. (IANS)
Mohanlal and Major Ravi, director of the super hit Keerthi Chakra are coming together again in Kargil. The film is being produced by Santosh Damodaran under the banner of Damor Films.
The shoot will start in June first week after Mohanlal completes his Madambi. It is to be an army based story on Pakistan's intrusion into Kargil and subsequent low intensity war. It is a big budget flick which the director says will cost Rs 8 crore (??).
Major Ravi is likely to shoot the film in Leh and a few other mountainous places in Himachal Pradesh. The film is not a sequel to Keerthi Chakra, but the Mohanlal character Major Mahadevan will be promoted to Colonel rank in the new film.
A new Punjabi girl Tanya Singh will play an important role in the film. The others in the cast are Padmapriya,Siddique, Biju Menon and Sooraj Venjaranmoodu. Azhagappan is the cameraman, and a new music director Siddharth is being introduced.
Superstar Mammootty is on a mission with Bollywood actress Tulip Joshi these days. He has joined the sets of his new film Mission 90 Days, which is directed by Major Ravi of Keerthichakra fame. The film brings to light the dark side of Rajiv Gandhis assassination.
Mammootty plays the role of Major Shivram, the Chief of National Security Guards and Tulip Joshi plays his wife in the film. Interestingly, the director said that Mammootty would not don army uniform though it is all about the army. This is Tulips debut film in Malayalam. She had earlier acted in a few Hindi films and a Telugu film titled Villain.
Now, the makers of the film are planning to finish its shooting in a single schedule and release it three weeks before Onam.
If there is an actor in Indian cinema who is a complete professional it is Mammootty. On his birthday on Friday ( Sep 7) the actor was working for Ranji Panikkar's Showariam and celebration was kept at a low key.
Of course the superstar's mobile was ringing non-stop on the sets, as fans and well wishers were calling him to wish him on his birthday. Mammootty wearing police uniform for the 25th time in a career spanning 26 years as hero, is the best cop in Malayalam films.
Right from the days when he did K.G George's Yavanika to I.V Sasi's Inspector Balram series he has been superb in uniform on the screen.
If all goes well, Vivek Oberoi (who re-invented himself in Shootout at Lokhandwala by playing the dreaded gangster Maya Dolas) will soon join the Territorial Army. Vivek has received the offer from the Indian Army and he has shown keen interest to take it up, says a source close to the Oberoi family.
When contacted, Vivek's father, Suresh Oberoi, confirmed the news that his son has received the offer. He said, Of course, Vivek won't stop acting. He will join the Army on an honorary basis.
Vivek will have to undergo a fitness test before he takes up his post. We have yet to meet the Chief of Army Staff to get the details. But I must say that Vivek is very excited about this. Once that meeting happens, things will make further headway, added Suresh Oberoi.
Suresh Oberoi revealed that many of his family members have served the Indian Army. He said, My grandfather served the Army for 30 years. My dad was in the Army during the British rule, but he was thrown out because he went on to join the Bhagat Singh's group. Vivek's nana retired as a General.
As for me, I wanted to join the Army and had even sat for exams for the same, but then the environment at home was more inclined towards medicine- we have a neurosurgeon, a pediatrician, and my elder sister is a Indian dean at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. But, my life took a turn. Main doctor bante bante actor ban gaya, Suresh said.
The proud father sounded very happy for his son. He didn't say this in so many words, but his concluding statement clearly suggests that Vivek has risen like a Phoenix from the Ashes after his excellent portrayal of Maya Dolas in Apoorva Lakhia's Shootout at Lokhandwala.
Vivek was in a horrible situation. He was undergoing a very tough time in his life when he started working on Shootout at Lokhandwala. He had too much stress. The media had gone against him. He had lost his girlfriend (read Aishwarya Rai). Any other person in his place may have taken to alcohol. But he decided to fight back. He gave his all while playing Maya Dolas. I think that his commendable performance in Shootout at Lokhandwala has proved a point, added Suresh. mumbai news
2011/6/6 16:36:51 Bash on Regardless an autobiography of Lt. Gen. W A G Pinto (retired), a veteran in Indian Army, has been released by Lt. Gen. A K Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command, Pune, at a simple function on Monday.
The book is based on the memoirs and reminisces of the 87 year old General who served in the Indian Army with distinction from 1943 to 1982 retiring as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Command. General Pinto in his book narrated his experiences as a wartime divisional commander during the 1971 war against Pakistan and decisively defeated the Pakistani Assault in the battle of Basantar on western front in Punjab while commanding 54 Infantry Division.
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant General A K Singh, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command has recounted the illustrious career and his great contribution of General Pinto in different capacities in the Indian Army and said that there is much to learn from his experiences, both in battlefields and peace. Appreciating the Indian Army, he said that the it is the worlds top force with commitment and integrity having secular and professional characters.
General Pinto who was settled in Pune, was present in the function, looking cheerful and active even at the age of 87, narrated his experiences and recounted memories. He said that he preferred to get his book released at Secunderabad, where he served as third GOC at 54 Infantry Division during 1971 to 1974 and participated in the historial1971 operation against Pakistan. Major General Amit Sharma, General Officer Commanding of 54 Division and other senior officers of the armed forces were also present on the occasion.
The recent news in Indian animation industry was all about Rajnikant's 'Sultan The Warrior' an animation film done by his daughter. Following the lines of the superhero, its Malayalam star Mohanlal reinventing his career by doing an animation film.
Animation Dimensions, an animation company has started their work on a film with the Superstar as the hero. Mohanlal will also be lending his voice to the film, says the Creative Head of the Animation Dimensions, Prakash Nambiar. The film will have two heroes in the lead. Besides Mohanlal the other hero would be a superstar from Bollywood.
Apart from this, another animation series with the famous characters of Naadodikkattu , Daasan and Vijan is being worked by another group of animators.
Superstar Mohanlal who was engaged with the shooting of the remake film of the Bollywood classic, Sholay has completed with its shooting.
The remake directed by Ram Gopal Varma has Mohanlal playing the role of polic officer, Thakur which was orginally enacted by Sanjeevkumar.
However there has been slight variations made to the new version of his character which is said to be totally in fit with Lal's acting adaptabilities. Lal plays the role of a South Indian City Commissioner in the film.