This Independence Day, Discovery Channel will lift the veil off India’s elite paratrooper special forces

Published: 12th August 2016 09:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2016 09:11 AM   |  A+A-

They work in utmost secrecy, sometimes even dying in the line of work in some distant part of the world–yet, year after year young men from the Indian Army try desperately to enter the elite para special forces, which sees 90-95 percentage of attrition rate during the selection process itself. Come this Independence Day, Discovery Channel will reveal, in its hour-long show, Indian Paratroopers: Earning the Badge, the grueling selection process. “Some of these elite soldiers, in the front line of our battles, come from little known towns and villages in our country–we thought it was the right time to honour them,” begins Prabhu Asgaonkar, the producer of the show, who had to spend 15 months in production, with a good part spent on research as little is known outside the defence circles about these troopers.

Toughest day

In the show, which was filmed in an undisclosed location, 23 men–all in their early 20s are pushed to physical and mental extremes like non-stop 100 kilometre runs, uphill sprints, cold water swims, while also being put through days of sleep deprivation–all during the selection phase. The men are also put through exercises, which require them to demolish structures, evade capture, survive in the wild, give emergency medical aid and converse in a range of languages. “The whole exercise is a roller coaster ride from hell and back, where men break down, but the strongest have succeeded to earn the precious maroon beret and The Balidaan Badge (the winged blade of sacrifice),” says Asgaonkar.

Enemy lines

Thanks to Hollywood, Indian viewers know more about Navy Seals and British SAS over their very own maroon beret paratroopers. Not any lower than their American and British counterparts, these ghost operatives regularly work behind national borders to foil terrorist attacks and safeguard national interests with the latest being a counter insurgency

operation in Myanmar. “Indian para ranks amongst the very best special forces operatives in the world as they serve in the most difficult terrains including the Siachen Glacier–the highest battlefield on earth,” says, Asgaonkar adding that this coming out of the special forces will hopefully enable us to add these men to popular culture. On Discover Channel,

Stay up to date on all the latest Entertainment English news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp