Gunjan Saxena's biopic is sending a wrong message about the lady officers of IAF, says her batch-mate Sreevidya Rajan

Ever since the film Gunjan Saxena released on Netflix, there has been a lot of negative reports on the film that the makers took too much cinematic liberty in showing IAF in a bad way.
Written By Thulasi Ram | Updated: August 18, 2020 11:27 IST
Gunjan Saxena's biopic is sending a wrong message about the lady officers of IAF, says her batch-mate Sreevidya Rajan

Janhvi Kapoor starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl had a direct digital release on Netflix a few days back. Since its release, the movie is getting a mixed response from the viewers. Some of them argued that the makers showcased the Indian Air Force in a bad light. Even IAF objected to a few scenes in the movie. Now, Gunjan's coursemate and retired Flight Lieutenant Sreevidya Rajan said that the makers have twisted the facts. She added that the movie is sending out a wrong message about the lady officers of IAF.

Sreevidya shared a lengthy post to share her opinion on the movie. She wrote, "We are course mates and had undergone our training together in AFA and HTS. Both of us were posted to Udhampur in 1996 but in the movie, it was shown that she was the only lady pilot posted at the unit. Since the two of us were the first lady pilots to be posted to that helicopter unit, we were skeptical about our acceptance in the male-dominated niche area of flying. We were received with the usual preconceived notions and prejudices from a few colleagues. However, there were enough officers to support us."
She further wrote, "Our flying began within a few days of our arrival and was never interrupted or canceled for petty reasons as wrongly portrayed in the movie. The squadron commander was a thorough professional. He was a very strict and tough officer who took us to task whenever there was a mistake from our side, be it male or female. We never faced any humiliating physical strength demonstrations as shown in the movie. We were never ill-treated or humiliated by our fellow officers. As shown in the movie, there were no separate toilet facilities and changing rooms for ladies in the unit. After initial difficulties, we shared the limited resources with our fellow officers and they always accommodated and helped us whenever it was needed. In the movie, Gunjan Saxena was shown as the only lady pilot to fly in Kargil operations. This is factually incorrect. We were posted together to Udhampur and when the Kargil conflict started, I was the first woman pilot to be sent along with the male counterparts in the first detachment of our unit which deployed at Srinagar. I flew missions in the conflict area even before Gunjan's arrival at Srinagar. After a few days of operation, Gunjan Saxena came to Srinagar with the next set of crew."
Sreevidya concluded by saying, "I only wish that since it is a Biopic, Gunjan should have made sure to show the facts and portray IAF in a positive light before giving her approval to air the movie."