'Disheartening To See People Trying To Dent My Hard-Earned Reputation' — Gunjan Saxena

Shubanka Sridhar , 17 Aug 2020
Gunjan Saxena and Janhvi Kapoor (Source: Instagram | @sharansharma)
Gunjan Saxena and Janhvi Kapoor (Source: Instagram | @sharansharma)

Janhvi Kapoor‘s film, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, has been up the controversy lane ever since its release. Right after the film premiered on the OTT platform, Netflix, the Indian Air Force wrote to the Censor Board about their undue negative portrayal in the film. Now, a lot of others have also stepped up and written about the skewed representation of facts with respect to the Air Force. This includes Gunjan’s ex-colleague, Flight Lieutenant Sreevidya Rajan (retd.), who has called out the fact that the facts have been ‘twisted’.

Another retired Wing Commander, Namrita Chandi, wrote an open letter where she claimed that it was Sreevidya and not Gunjan who was the first lady pilot who flew to Kargil. Replying to these claims, Gunjan told NDTV that the filmmakers did take cinematic liberty when it came to her biopic. She wrote that it was “absolutely disheartening to see a small group of people trying to dent this hard-earned reputation with nonsensical rants.”

She says that for those who are accusing the film of  “peddling lies” about her being the first woman pilot to be sent to Kargil War, she writes:

Now, for all of you reading this absurd propaganda and ranting over the “peddling of lies”, there is a humble submission. The author, claiming to protect the image of the IAF for whatever vested interests or hidden agenda, is questioning the very authenticity of the Air Force’s stand in 1999 after the Kargil war.

Speaking of the gender bias that is portrayed in the film, Gunjan clears the air and says that she never experienced any discrimination in the organisational level. But that she did go through the “difficulties of prejudice and discrimination at the hands of a few individuals for being a woman.” But adds that since it was not on an organisational level, she also got equal opportunities.

In the end, she also spoke about the fact that she didn’t think of this as a documentary on the Kargil War, and that the storyline of the film was based on the theme of her journey, and how she turned her dreams into reality.

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