A film based on the real-life story of Flight lieutenant Gunjan Saxena premiered on Netflix recently and the Indian Air Force (IAF) has pointed out some issues with certain scenes in the film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. The IAF has written to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) complaining that certain scenes and dialogues “are misleading” in the film and that they “portray an inappropriate work culture especially against women in the IAF.”

In the letter, the IAF argued that Dharma Productions carried an “undue negative portrayal” of the IAF in the movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. Actress Janhvi Kapoor plays the protagonist Saxena who evacuated and saved the lives of many injured Indian soldiers in Kargil, 18 years ago. She was the first Indian woman Air Force officer to go into a war zone.

“IAF as a service has always ensured that the organisation is gender neutral and has always provided an equal opportunity to both male and women personnel,” the letter reads, Deccan Chronicle reported.

What You Should Know

  • The IAF criticised Gunjan Saxena biopic for its “undue negative portrayal” of the IAF.
  • Based on Air Force officer Gunjan Saxena’s life, the film was recently released on Netflix.
  • Janhvi Kapoor plays the lead role in the biopic.

The IAF claims that initially, Netflix and Dharma Production had “agreed to represent Indian Air Force (IAF) with authenticity and make all efforts to ensure that the film helps to inspire the next generation of IAF officers.” However, when the trailer came out, it was observed that “certain scenes and dialogues in the movie and its trailer, which was forwarded to this office for viewing, have been found to portray the IAF in an undue negative light.”

Calling it inappropriate, an excerpt from IAF’s letter read: “In the aim to glorify the screen character of ”Ex-Flt Lt Gunjan Saxena”, M/s Dharma Productions presented some situations that are misleading and portray an inappropriate work culture especially against women in the IAF,” an ANI report stated.

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Further advising to delete or modify them, it said, “However, the Production house has not deleted the scenes but had proposed a media plan in the run up to the release and inserting a disclaimer in the movie.” The production house was asked to not present incorrect information about the IAF.

Facts about Saxena

Saxena was the first Indian woman combat aviator who evacuated injured soldiers in the 1999 Kargil War. Having grown up watching her father and brother donning the uniform, the Army kid knew her true calling. During the Kargil War, Saxena was stationed at the operational zone in Srinagar. She was awarded the Shaurya Chakra. She was one of the 25 women who were part of the first batch of IAF trainee pilots.

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