Television

DD's 'Pillar of the Nation' trains its guns on the army today

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Border tensions are calling for some hasty programming changes in the subcontinent.

The Beeb has voluntarily put on hold its reality series Commando on the Indian army, bowing to geo political pressures in the region. Doordarshan, on the other hand, will air a special programme today that delves deep into the trying conditions the Indian defence forces operate under. Both programmes, incidentally, have been produced by Miditech, which also makes the adventure reality series Romance Adventure Aaap Aur Hum (Raaah) that premiered on Zee TV on Sunday. Sahara TV is also looking at a series Fateh (victory) which trains its guns on war heroes. However, this is not expected to go on air before February-March. 



While Commando, earlier scheduled to premiere in the first week of January, is now likely to take off on 22 January, DD is going ahead with its Pillar of the Nation on Army Day, 15 January. The 30-minute programme to be telecast at 9 pm will expose viewers to the human angle of the army, including the way army doctors operate in Kashmir, tank commanders work in tough terrain in Rajasthan; even Bofors unit commanders in Kargil. Footage of Siachen, Jammu, Poonch, Leh and Jaisalmer will also be shown, while terms like 'firing along the line of control' will be explained in terms understandable to the layman. The idea, say the programme producers, is to acquaint the citizen with the life of armymen. Army Day is observed on 15 January every year since 1948, when Lt Gen K M Cariappa was appointed the first Indian Commander in Chief of the forces. 



The BBC meanwhile, has to wait some more to air the 13-part docudrama that covers the six-week training course at the Commando Training School in Belgaum, Karnataka, considered one of the toughest in the world. The show was to have given viewers a unique access to the Indian army, although some details of the training have been deleted due to security reasons.

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