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The Indian Air Force (IAF) has written to the Central Board of Film Certification complaining against its “undue negative portrayal” in the movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, which is scheduled for a release on Netflix today.
IAF shoots letter to censor board objecting to its ‘undue negative portrayal’ in movie Gunjan Saxena
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) August 12, 2020
As per a report in ANI, the Indian Air Force in its letter to the censor board, Netflix and Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, states that initially, Dharma Productions had agreed to represent Indian Air Force (IAF) with authenticity and make all efforts to ensure that the film helps to inspire the next generation of IAF officers. However, when the trailer of the movie was released, it was observed that “certain scenes and dialogues in the movie and its trailer, which was forwarded to this office for viewing, have been found to portray the IAF in an undue negative light.”
Dharma’s movie ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ is a biopic which tells the story of our country’s first Air Force woman pilot Gunjan Saxena who had participated in the Kargil war in 1999.
IAF says Dharma Productions has mispresented the organisation
IAF, in the letter to the censor board has objected to the portrayal of the institution in the movie. Where several scenes appear to convey that there is extreme gender bias, misogyny and even harassment of women in the IAF.
“In the aim to glorify the screen character of ‘Ex-Fit Lt Gunjan Saxena’, M/s Dharma Productions presented some situations that are misleading and portray an inappropriate work culture especially against women in the IAF.”
In the communique, IAF furthered that as a service, it has ensured that the organisation is gender neutral and has always provided an equal opportunity to both male and women personnel.
Karan Johar’s Dharma productions was already informed about IAF’s objections
Annexing the summary of the scenes and dialogues of the script, which IAF considered objectionable due to the presentation of incorrect gender bias, India Air Force stated that Karan Johar-owned Dharma Productions was “informed about the objectionable portion of the movie and was advised to delete/modify the same. However, the production house has not deleted the scenes but it proposed a media plan in the run-up to the release and insert a disclaimer in the movie.”
The Air Force opined that a mere media plan and disclaimer would not be adequate to prevent the presentation of incorrect facts about the IAF. “In view of the above, the issue of grant of NOC for the release of the movie will be considered after deleting or suitably modifying the scenes in order to cater to the observations mentioned,” the Air Force stated.
It is notable here that Gunjan Saxena was a woman IAF pilot who had played an important role during rescue operations of some injured soldiers in the Kargil war in 1999. She was awarded the gallantry medal ‘Shourya Chakra’ for her bravery.