Recently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) wrote a letter to Dharma Productions, Netflix and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), raising objections over inaccurate presentation of gender bias in Janhvi Kapoor’s recently released film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.
The film documents the life of Gunjan Saxena and her journey towards becoming the first Indian Air Force woman pilot, who was part of the 1999 Kargil conflict. The Air Force said that certain scenes and dialogues in the movie portray it in a “negative light”.
While speaking to IANS, Gunjan has now opened up about her experience at the Air Force as compared to what has been portrayed in the film.
Gunjan Saxena On How She Perceives All Such Sequences In The Film
She was quoted as saying, “Indian Air Force is at the core and the heart of this film. It is the very training of the Indian Air Force and the strong ethos of the Indian Air Force, which really gave me the courage to do all those extraordinary things that I could. And not only me, I think it is the strong values and rich culture of the air force that is really the driving force behind all the women officers from all the different branches of the Indian Air Force who have served or are still serving in this organisation.”
Gunjan Saxena Defends The Film
Gunjan told the news agency that as a commercial film or a work of fiction, the Janhvi Kapoor creatively tried to capture her story and her journey. She further continued that one cannot deny that the film did portray that the doors were opened and she was given opportunities.
Gunjan Saxena Says She Was Given Equal Opportunities To Perform At IAF
The real-life hero shared that she was given equal opportunities to perform at IAF and that she thinks they are still there for all the women officers who are in the organisation.
She continued, “We don’t need any other or bigger proof than the fact that over the last 20 years the number of women officers in the Indian Air Force has gone up at such a high rate. So, this shows that the Indian Air Force, which is such a deeply respected institution, has been so progressive and positive about bringing about this change in itself. So I think that’s how I would like to address this question.”
Gunjan Saxena further said that she was able to realise her individual dream of flying because of the support of her family and the Indian Air Force.
Gunjan Saxena On Facing Gender Bias
Gunjan was quoted as saying, “Whenever there is a major change happening in any organisation or any field for that matter, it is never easy. There are teething troubles. During my initial days in the Indian Air Force, I had the support of my fellow officers, my supervisors and commanding officers who helped me during the difficult times or when I was caught in a difficult situation.”
“When there is major change happening, some of the individuals are able to accept change more readily as compared to the others, and some individuals take more time to adjust to a major change. So I think that’s how I would like to put it and what is really of consequence and importance here and what really needs to be focused is that even though it did take time for some individuals to change, that change did occur, it did happen and in a very positive and right direction,” she concluded.