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Former IAF Pilot Gunjan Saxena finally breaks silence about her portrayed film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

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Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl recently released on Netflix and has already won a number of hearts. The audience loved it so much that Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is #1 on Netflix’s top trending films list.

However, the film has been a part of a lot of controversies. Recently, the Indian Air Force raised an objection against the film. Many people started speaking ill about the film and about it showing the wrong impression of the Indian Air Force.

To clear the air, former IAF Pilot Gunjan Saxena on whom the movie is based speaks up about the movie. The former pilot writes her views on a blog. She said, “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. In my short career of eight years in the Air Force, the most precious commodity I earned was the admiration and respect of my seniors, juniors, and peers. It was absolutely disheartening to see a small group of people trying to dent this hard-earned reputation with nonsensical rants.”

She further continued by writing, “Neither I nor the filmmakers ever claimed I was a “Shaurya Chakra” awardee. After Kargil, I received the “Shaurya Veer” award from a civilian organization in Uttar Pradesh. A
certain section of the internet news possibly turned “Veer” into “Chakra”. This has been clarified many times during my media interactions for the movie’s promotions. Is it fair to blame me for this?”

“The IAF is too big and too respectable a force to even be scratched by the controversy. The IAF as an organization is not into institutional discrimination, be it on gender or anything. I can speak for myself,” she wrote.

Gunjan Saxena later writes about her journey. She wrote, “When I joined there was no discrimination at the organizational level. But yes, individually, no two people are the same and some individuals adapt to change better than others. Since the bias is not at an organizational level, the experiences of different woman officers would be different. To deny it completely speaks of a feudal mindset and undermines the grit of women
Officers. I also combated the difficulties of prejudice and discrimination at the hands of a few individuals for being a woman. But since it was never at the organizational level, I got equal opportunities all the time.”

“Never in my initial years of service did I ever complain of infrastructure issues, be it the lack of a separate toilet or women’s changing rooms. In fact, when I did the survival course for almost a month, I stayed with male officers in one tent and on many occasions, freshened up early in the morning in the open jungles. I did not ask for any concessions; I wanted to do the survival course in the same way as my male colleagues,” she added.

She writes about the events during the Kargil war, “As I understand, the film was never intended to be a documentary on the Kargil war. The idea was to showcase my life, my journey, my dreams, and my little achievements. Neither I nor Sharan Sharma (the director) intended to insult the IAF. I can say this with conviction. In fact, where I was regularly consulted on the phone or in-person (I was present during four or five shots in Lucknow) was on the authenticity of the uniforms, my mannerisms, the layout of offices, and technical terms or jargon linked to flying.”

“Right from the day I was born, I have lived every single day of my life with people in military uniform. Both my brother and I chose careers in the Armed Forces. Even after hanging up my uniform, I continued to live on the
Air Force premises as an officer’s wife. I do not need sermons from anybody for my knowledge or the lack of it as far as the Armed Forces are concerned. Whatever little I have attained, both on the personal and professional front is from the IAF. The rest, I leave to your good judgment and fine wisdom,” Gunjan Saxena concluded.