New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, July 9 (IANS) Malayalam actor Mohanlal Thursday donned a new cap - that of a lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army. The actor was piped by the Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor at a ceremony here.
'It is truly a proud moment for me to have been granted an honorary rank during the diamond jubilee year of the Territorial Army. I will try to serve to the best of my ability in my newly assigned role. It is a dream come true that I can now serve shoulder to shoulder with our officers and men,' Mohanlal, a four-time national award winner, said after the ceremony.
'Lt Col (Hony) Mohanlal, Padmashri, will be yet another brand ambassador of the Territorial Army. His achievements are an example of his discipline, dedication and hard work which is very synonymous to the army way of life,' a senior Indian Army official said.
'His passion for the army is amply evident from his outstanding and realistic portrayal of the penultimate, fearless and duty bound army officer on the silver screen especially in movies like 'Kirti Chakra' and 'Kurukshetra'.
'As part of his preparation to truly depict the role, he shared the realities of army personnel in actual conflict zone like Tiger Hill and Drass, withstanding extreme weather conditions and combat situations,' the official added.
Mohanlal will be affiliated with the Kerala-based 122 Infantry Battalion.
Meanwhile, the fans of the star celebrated the occasion by distributing sweets in Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram.
Mohanlal Fans Association held a get together at a theatre which is screening his latest film 'Brahmaram'.
Major Ravi, director of 'Kirti Chakra' and 'Kurukshetra', said: 'I am delighted that I directed the two films that evinced interest in Mohanlal to join the Territorial Army.
'As a director I am happy that he has become a brand ambassador of the Indian Army,' said Ravi, who is a former commando of the National Security Guard.
In October 2008, veteran cricketer Kapil Dev was also granted the honorary rank of lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army and has since been very active in the volunteer force.