Janhvi Kapoor's latest release 'Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl', which is based on the first Indian Air Force woman pilot who was part of the 1999 Kargil conflict, has been receiving flak for the gender bias portrayed in the film. Retired Wing Commander Namrita Chandi and Flight Lieutenant Srividya Rajan were among the others who had slammed the movie. Now, Retired Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Training Command, Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja has said that the dialogues in the film are offensive and no one would use such language in the Air Force.
In an exclusive interview with shethepeople, Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukrea, who has trained the batch of women pilots at Yelahanka Air Force base in 1994, said that there was no discrimination between men and women. He said that the movie which is supposed to be an inspiration to girls to join IAF is now planting a seed of doubt as "they may think that girls have to go through such kind of training or face such kind of humiliation."
Speaking about the dialogues in the film's trailer, he said, "So there was no cultural difference to worry about. The men, being from different strata of society, as compared to the officers, were so well adjusted, that there was never ever a complaint from either a lady officer that ‘so and so is not listening to me or obeying my instructions’ or from an airman, who turned around and said, ‘kar lo kya karte ho, main nahi karunga.’ There was never an incident like this, not just in Yelahanka or when I took over as the Commandant of the Air Force Academy."
He also said that there is no difference in the capabilities of women officers as compared to their male counterparts and no senior male officer will tell a lady "tum kamzor ho". "The dialogues are offensive and there is no way that anybody, whether he is a flyer or a ground duty officer, would use such language in the Air Force," Kukreja said.
Before Air Marshal Kukreja, Sandhya Suri, among the first women officers to serve on a warship, had strongly condemned the wrong portrayal of facts in the newly released flick and said that the story has been distorted badly only to promote its actress Janhvi Kapoor and has nothing to do with the real character of Gunjan Kapoor.
"As an officer, I refused to watch the film because its initial portrayal in the trailer was wrong as they projected Gunjan to be the first woman officer to fly in the Air Force, which is a wrong fact. Next, the way she has been shown ragged and abused, projects the armed forces in a bad light. It never happens the way it has been shown," the ex-officer told IANS.