Armed Forces Flag Day: From Shah Rukh Khan to Dhoni; these celebrities almost joined the army
On Armed Forces Flag Day today (Dec 7), here’s taking a look at big names from Bollywood and cricket, who wanted to join the Defence forces and serve the nation, but fate had other plans.
The Armed Forces Flag Week (December 1 to December 7) is being celebrated across the nation. To commemorate the week, the Indian Cricket team wore the Indian Armed Forces badges during the third test match against Sri Lanka on Saturday. Bollywood celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, too, thanked the forces for their sacrifices in the line of duty. “Coming from an army background myself, I feel so proud and absolutely honoured to be part of this. Here’s saluting the real life heroes of our nation. Jai Hind! #ArmedForcesWeek,” Anushka wrote on Twitter.
The show of support is not surprising, considering a number of cricketers and Bollywood actors wanted to don the uniform before things took a turn. Take a look:
1) Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan has played a soldier on the small screen in Fauji (1989), and worn the battle fatigues in films such Army (1996) and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) . In an interview to NDTV, the actor had said, “I wanted to join the Army. Every youngster should have that desire in their hearts. I really wanted to get into the army, for the sports part of it, for the physical part of it, and fighting — not fighting, but protecting your nation more than anything else. I think army men , jawaans and everyone in the armed forces does a great job. I could not, for various reasons, and if we have some time or the other, I would recount that. For me, it was the greatest moment of my life that I could play actor Fauji atleast, when I did the soap Fauji. I feel it was one of the greatest moments of my life and always will remain so, ki main agar asli mein nahi ban saka, toh kahin na kahin dil behlaane ke liye kuchh army-jawaan jaisa kaam toh kar saka. It’s the greatest job in the world to be able to protect your nation.”
2) Akshay Kumar
Being an army man’s son, it’s no surprise that the actor wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. As Akshay puts it: “Patriotism is in my blood”. In an earlier interview with us, he said, “Besides teaching martial arts, my desire was to join the Indian Army. That was the future I saw for myself. Becoming an actor was not on the cards. I didn’t think about it even in my wildest dreams. But sometimes, you have to let life lead the way. You can’t always expect God to give you what you want. At times, God has his own plans.” The actor has set up Bharat Ke Veer, an [online] initiative that helps people contribute to families of slain soldiers.
3) Rannvijay Singha
VJ turned actor Rannvijay Singha was all set to join the forces when he got a call for reality show MTV Roadies. The actor has maintained that if not a part of showbiz, he would have been an army man. “Five generations of my family have served in the Indian Army, and I would have been the sixth to be a part of it,” he told us recently. The actor has maintained that he urges youngsters to join the army.
4) Nimrat Kaur
An army officer’s daughter, Nimrat has said that seeing her father put on the olive greens was always a matter of pride for her. The actor, who plays the role of an army officer in web series The Test Case, said, “Life has come a full circle for me in that sense and it’s a dream part, which was actually my first dream profession. As a kid growing up, I always wanted to join the army until I realised how difficult it is to be an army officer. Then, I said okay, it’s time to have other plans because this is not as easy as it seems.”
5) Sonu Sood
It’s nothing short of a dream come true for actor Sonu Sood, who plays the role of a soldier in JP Dutta’s upcoming film, Paltan. Not just the actor, his father, too, wanted him to join the forces. “I had wanted to get into the Army but then, I decided to pursue engineering and then I got into the movies. But getting into that army uniform was always a high. Even in my acting career, I always thought that it will be a dream come true to play an army officer. I have completely loved and enjoyed all the war films – whether it’s Hindi or English as it gives you a patriotic feeling. I think it’s a huge high for any actor to play a soldier and I am looking forward to starting work on this project,” he told us recently.
6) Gautam Gambhir
The cricketer has been the most vocal voice in support of India’s Armed Forces. Backing many initiatives for soldiers and their families, making contributions to the kin of martyrs, Gambhir’s foundation even takes care of the expenses and education of the children of soldiers killed in action in Sukhma this year. He has often said that Army is his first love and he wanted to join the infantry. “They are the ones who work for this country absolutely selflessly. They are the actual heroes, not anyone from Bollywood or cricket,” he said.
7) Mahendra Singh Dhoni
The former Indian skipper is an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in India’s Territorial Army. He, too, has said that he wanted to join the army. “Since childhood I wanted to join the Army. Seeing the soldiers, I thought that one day I’ll be the same,” Dhoni told Aaj Tak.
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