IAF objects to ‘negative portrayal’ of work culture in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has objected to the portrayal of its work culture in Dharma Production’s soon to be released movie Gunjan Saxena…The Kargil Girl.
In its letter to Dharma Production, Netflix and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), IAF said certain scenes and dialogues in the movie and trailer, which were forwarded to it for viewing, were found to “portray the IAF in an undue negative light”.
According to an initial understanding, Dharma Production had agreed to represent IAF with authenticity and make all efforts to ensure the film helps to inspire the next generation of IAF officers.
The movie’s trailer was released recently on the over the top (OTT) platform, IAF said in its letter. IAF said according to its information, the movie is being released on Wednesday.
“In the aim to glorify the screen character of ‘Ex-Flt 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,” the letter said.
It added IAF as a service has always ensured the organisation is gender neutral and provided equal opportunities to male and women personnel.
IAF has also provided a summary of scenes and dialogues that it considers objectionable and an incorrect presentation of the gender bias.
The letter said the production house was informed about the objectionable portions of the movie and advised to delete or modify these.
“However, the production house has not deleted the scenes but had proposed a media plan in the run up to the release and inserting a disclaimer in the movie,” the letter said, adding IAF considers these measures inadequate.
CBFC does not regulate OTT platforms such as Netflix even though the information and broadcasting ministry is working to prepare a regulatory framework for them. The Centre has been looking at self-regulatory mechanisms for these platforms.
Last month, the defence ministry wrote a letter to CBFC, Mumbai, drawing attention to producers of movies and web series distorting the image of the Indian Army and said they should obtain a no-objection certificate from the ministry before airing their movies or shows.
The headcount of women in the armed forces is upwards of 3,300, including 1,300 in IAF, but combat roles were off limits to them until IAF took the lead in crushing internal resistance to grant them equal opportunities in 2015, when they became eligible for the fighter stream.
Warships, tanks and combat positions in infantry are still no-go zones for women, who were allowed to join the armed forces outside the medical stream for the first time in 1992.
The army is currently in the process of granting permanent commission to short service commissioned women following a Supreme Court verdict. In February, the Supreme Court ruled women should be considered for command roles and all women officers are entitled to permanent commission. It asked the army to give them permanent commission within three months in a major boost to gender parity.