The Indian Air Force is one of the most respectable institutions in the country. In their long history of serving the country, the IAF has taken many strides at improving their capabilities and work ethics both. The Indian Air Force inducted women as female pilots many decades ago. Recently Netflix made a biopic on Gunjan Saxena
starring Janhvi Kapoor
. Many from the IAF have dismissed the film entirely and called it misrepresentative of the IAF.
Now in a recent interview, IK Khanna who trained Gunjan Saxena back in 1994 has also dismissed the biopic. Speaking about the film Khanna said, “I was one of the instructors back in July 1994 when the first batch of seven women pilots arrived at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka, Bengaluru, to commence training on IAF transport aircraft,” Khanna wrote. Wondering if the film’s screenplay was shared with the IAF, Khanna wrote that under his watch, all women pilots were treated as equals, and “No one had to run to their room to change as shown in Gunjan Saxena.”
Gender bias has been part of Indian society for ages, but women have been part of the defense services in many fields for years. And to believe that Gunjan Saxena, or for that matter any other woman pilot, was subjected to arm wrestling—as the film on her shows!” He added.
Gunjan Saxena herself also spoke to NDTV and said, “From July 1999 till today, my name has featured in a number of headlines, in a number of articles, and in the Limca Book of Records, and in one of the promotion exams taken by the air force. Between July 1999 and today, I don’t see what has changed. The only thing that has changed is this movie being released.”