Retired Wing Commander Namrita Chandi served in Indian Air Force with Gunjan Saxena slammed the biopic. She states the film’s portrayal of sexism in the IAF is completely wrong.
In her letter, published on Outlook, Namrita Chandi wrote, “I have myself served as a helicopter pilot and I have never faced the kind of abuse and maltreatment as was portrayed in the movie. In fact, men in uniform are true gentlemen and professionals.”
She added that she was trained with Gunjan Saxena and saw “each other under the worst of circumstances.” Following which she also blamed Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions for showing everyone who served in the ‘proud blue uniform in very poor light”.
She further mentions writers as “penny dreadful” and filmmakers “peddling lies.” She also mentions that the first lady pilot who flew to Kargil was Srividya Rajan and not Gunjan. “Though, I am certain that Srividya has no complaints about this credit being taken away from her”, she adds.
Considering her credentials, she says, “I have myself been the first lady officer to fly on the International Border with Pakistan, way back in 1996. I had the confidence of every officer that sat with me in the crew room. I was the first lady pilot to be posted to Leh and fly the Cheetah helicopter in the Siachen Glacier…”
With an advisory end to Janhvi Kapoor, she says, “Lady, let me advice you, please, never again do a film of this kind if you are a proud Indian woman. Stop showcasing Indian professional women and men in such poor light.”
“Our main concern is the incorrect portrayal of gender bias in the IAF. It is a well-known fact that the Indian Air Force has the largest number of women officers serving actively. The IAF was the first to open all its branches to women officers, including combat roles in 2015. This wouldn’t have been possible without an unbiased policy. Everything in the defense forces is done on merit alone,” said the IAF’s spokesperson.