Ahead of the 2023 Veterans Day celebrations, national award-winning film director Ananth Mahadevan announces his next venture ‘Veterans Of War – The India Story’. Written and directed by Mahadevan and produced by Ashvin Gidwani of AGP World, the 75-minute documentary film that celebrates 75 years of Indian independence will feature real life stories and interviews of 20 Indian armed forces Gallantry awardees. Veterans Day is commemorated every year on 14th January and this parade that is due to take place on 8th January, 2023 will be the final shoot and scene for this epic docu-film.
In collaboration with the Navy Foundation, Mumbai Chapter (NFMC) this documentary has been created, which will feature living legends of war, where retired, top-ranking military personnel & Mahavir Chakra awardees have shared their true-life experiences. Aside from the first-person accounts and true-life narratives, Mahadevan is also expected to shoot and document the proceedings from the second edition of Veterans Day Parade 2023 that will witness over 700 veterans marching in unison from Nariman Point to Marine Drive on Sunday, 8th January, 2023. This will be incorporated in his documentary film. Upon completion, the documentary film is expected to be previewed across all the defence verticals of the army, navy and air force followed by all major film festivals of the world.
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The parade will be led by Cdr Vijay Vadhera, a 1971 war veteran and President of NFMC, and will feature retired wheelchair bound senior veterans, nearly 90 years of age, viz. Wing Cdr J Nath, MVC & Bar (93 yrs), Cmde Satish Bhalla, AVSM, NM (G) (89 yrs), Capt Raj Mohindra (87 yrs) and LCdr Gopal Singh (92 yrs), Gallantry awardees and finally navy, army & air force veterans’ platoon. Stalwarts such as Federal Bank and Transworld Group have come forward to support this unique initiative of national pride.
Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President, NFMC states, “The objective of celebrating Veterans Day on 14th January every year since 2017 is to bring about compassion, empathy and respect for the veterans from the masses. It is a unique initiative of the Indian Defence Services to acknowledge and honour the selfless devotion and sacrifice by our veterans who even after retiring are always in search of opportunities to serve the nation. Military veterans often receive special treatment in their respective countries, due to the sacrifices they made during wars. Many countries have longstanding traditions, ceremonies and holidays to honour their veterans.”
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Ananth Mahadevan states, “This is India’s biggest march of pride…the veterans of the armed forces who are the sentinels of the nation. A salute to our nation’s “kavach”!”
Ashvin Gidwani, Founder, AGP World states, “It is truly an honour to collaborate on this project that promises to be full of patriotism and passion. My father belonged to the armed forces and this is my humble tribute to those legends who have dedicated their entire life to their country. ‘Veterans Of War’ is a passionate endeavour to bring to light valiant stories of Unsung Heroes who have fought heroically for their country. To memorialise their unconditional contribution, we consented to produce the film. I am very grateful that many like-minded patrons have emerged in support of this one-of-a-kind initiative and have shown their eagerness to be a part of this inspirational journey and support both, the Navy Foundation and AGP World in this unique patriotic venture.”
Ramesh S. Ramakrishnan, Chairman, Transworld Group states, “We are honoured to be associated with this project, which is a recognition and an act of gratitude for the selfless and courageous acts of valour by our heroes of armed forces. This is a humble offering from Transworld.”
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Shyam Srinivasan, MD & CEO, Federal Bank states, “We are proud to be associated with this esteemed project, which is a tribute to the legends who have acted beyond their call of duty and exhibited selfless devotion for the country. Their dedication and commitment to the ideals of our democracy are an inspiration. May we all work together to aspire to those ideals as a way to honour their service and sacrifice!”
Khushroo N. Suntook, Chairman, NCPA states, “It is an honour and privilege that the armed forces have chosen the NCPA to hold their Veterans Day function in gratitude for their valiant defence of our beloved India.”
Under the aegis of NFMC (Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter) and supported by HQWNC, India’s very first Veterans Day Parade was hosted on Sunday, 12th January 2020 at Marine Drive, Mumbai with over 500 veterans. After a two-year hiatus owing to the pandemic, the Veterans Day Parade returns in 2023.
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The concept of the Veterans Day (originally known as Armistic Day) dates back to 11th November 1919, when then U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistic Day, in which he expressed what the day meant to the Americans and honoured the military veterans of World War I. Most countries have been celebrating the Veterans Day on prominent dates – Australia & New Zealand on 25th April since 1942 to honour their martyrs of World War 2, USA & Canada on 11th November to honour their martyrs of World War 1. Indian Armed Forces have been celebrating the Veterans Day on 14th January every year since 2017 as on this day India’s first Commander-In-Chief of the Indian army, Field Marshal C.M Cariappa OBE, who led the Indian forces to victory in the 1947 war hung his boots. The documentary film is supported by NCPA, Federal Bank, Transworld, etc.