Lt Colonel Mohan Lal

MohanLalIn 2007, I wrote a blog post about Mohan Lal’s promotional ads of a liquor brand. Mohan Lal had formed a business alliance then, with the owners of the same brand, Original Choice. When the news became controversial the defenders were of the opinion that Mohan Lal was only promoting ‘evening snacks’ under the same brand name (just like how Vijay Mallya is selling only soda and mineral water under the brand name King Fisher). Die hard fans and Mohan Lal himself had also argued that there would not be any raise in the number of drunkards just because the actor was promoting it, considering the fact that Kerala has the highest alcohol consumption in the country. The opposition’s concern was that the actor has high influence on people in Kerala, particularly the youth who see Mohan Lal as an icon and role model.

Now let us just casually say that Mohan Lal’s celebrity influence on the youth of Kerala was not going to boost the sales of anything – be it gold, lungies or liquor (you might ask then why would the commercial brands use celebrities for promotion and pay them millions for that, but let us just put it aside for the time being). In the last week, Mohan Lal has been granted the Honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army. This honor comes after Mohan Lal’s two successful Malayalam movies (Keerthichakra and Kurukshetra) in which he enacted the role of an Army Major. As per the Army Chief Deepak Kapoor, Mohan Lal will be yet another brand ambassador of the Territorial Army. Defense Minister A K Antony also said that, “this will be an inspiration for the younger generation to join the armed forces“. A CNN-IBN article on this says that, “Mohanlal’s role will be to inspire youth to join the armed forces“.

It is at this point that I have a question – As per the supporters of Mohan Lal during the time of Original Choice advertisement, his influence on the youth did not take any effect in boosting the sales of liquor. Has that changed all in a sudden? Now would Mohan Lal inspire the youth just because it is a good patriotic cause?

Skeptics say that youth is more prone to go under the bad influences first, than good ones.

PS: Some also say that considering the situation, Mammootty should be conferred an honorary position in CBI for his 4 successful movies as a CBI officer, or Suresh Gopi as an honorary Commissioner of Police for his numerous super hits as a highly ranked police officer. 😀

(Image source: Google Images)