Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, a biopic on the first woman IAF pilot to fly into combat zone, has received criticism from some segments for an apparently ‘negative portrayal’ of the Indian Air Force and ‘fact twisting’.
Gunjan Saxena has written a lengthy note responding to these criticisms of the film, and has said that she is trying to clear the air after “some people have tried to distort the basic founding values of my existence and identity”.
In her response, Gunjan wrote to NDTV, “Let me inform readers with utmost conviction and honesty that even though cinematic liberties were exercised in my biopic by the filmmakers, what they did not miss or exaggerate was me, the real Gunjan Saxena. I admit without hesitation that I have even more of an iron will and resoluteness than was portrayed in the movie.”
Retired Wing Commander Namrita Chandi had accused the makers of Gunjan Saxena of ‘peddling lies’ and has claimed that Srividya Rajan was the first woman pilot to fly to Kargil.
Regarding this, Gunjan wrote she “was absolutely disheartening to see a small group of people trying to dent this hard-earned reputation with nonsensical rants,” and mentioned the firsts to her name.
She continued, “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.”
Gunjan also responded to a journalist’s critique of the film. She wrote, “It is creative license, which is certainly not with me but with the makers of the movie. But the intention of the movie was to inspire people to chase their dreams with hope and positivity, the way I chased mine. The entire storyline was based on the theme of my journey, how my dreams became reality. As I understand, the film was never intended to be a documentary on the Kargil war.”
Gunjan Saxena is directed by Sharan Sharma, and it stars Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi and Angad Bedi. The biopic released on Netflix on August 12, 2020.