Netflix must be made to apologize and take back Gunjan Saxena movie

No nation can allow a mockery of its elite forces by anyone, in any medium, under any circumstances. It is simply an unpardonable act that has to be silenced before it gets circulated.

A nation that fails to protect the honor of her forces and makes her warriors turn ‘complaint munshis’ becomes a joke for the enemies.

Makers of the movie Gunjan Saxena betrayed the Indian Air Force, violated the agreement with the IAF, they were supposed to show the final and get it okayed, which they never did, and portrayed a false narrative of the IAF and hit at the soul of India.

Besides its a shoddily made celluloid drama – immature dialogues, funnily assembled IAF interview board sets, factual errors – as Gunjan wasn’t the lone pilot – and IAF began inducting women way back in 1994 – with a huge 13% presence of women IAF personnel in all its ranks – highest among all three wings – these do not reflect in the story and it shows as if a lone, the very first women pilot landed among the wolves.

Sadly while the State powers have yet to take a stern, corrective measure against the movie, patriotic Indians, masses have come up strongly in support of the India Air Force and debunked, trashed the ill-intentioned movie makers and its director with a contempt they deserve.

They must be punished and Netflix be asked to have the movie off-loaded or be barred to use the Indian territory.

I saw the movie Gunjan Saxena hoping what is being said about it might be untrue, but I was shocked that the critics are just being modest and unjustifiably nice (movie is bad but acting of Jahnvai Kapoor is too good etc etc) to a blatantly anti-Air Force movie that might help our enemies rather than encourage more Gunjan Saxenas to join the elite force of the sky-warriors.

The storyline looks innocent. A girl with dreams to fly planes, a highly motivated family of an army colonel, usual hurdles in the path of the dreamy-eyed Gunjan, yet she overcomes all challenges and becomes a pilot.

Who allowed her to don the Indian Air-force uniform? Who were her instructors, examiners, and policymakers to decide and facilitate the women to become air warriors?

They were all men, who belonged to the Indian Air Force. The IAF.

Were they sex-starved junkies who just happened to be in the IAF to pass lewd comments holding a glass of whiskey and run away at the sight of a woman officer amidst them? Such cheap tactics won’t be seen even in the mess of a banana republic’s forces that men would challenge a woman to show her strength by arm wrestling before an all-men crowd. And all looking at her helplessness with an unhidden glee. Shame on these men or shame on those who made the movie and had the guts to show to the Indian audiences?

The movie-makers forgot that the women have been serving as ace pilots in IAF since 1994, they were inducted in the Indian Air Force with everyone supporting the proposal, officers in the IAF were fully aware of the responsibility to respect the decision and help them succeed as equal partners.

They were all helpful, encouraging, and happy to have the women in the commanding positions.

None of this comes out even in one single shot or any incident.

The IAF officers are shown as lascivious, drink party animals, who have just one sexist mindset to look at the female colleague.

It shows as if Gunjan was a lone fighter for the gender equality, had a steely determination to join IAF but she landed among the crooks and wild people who ogled at a lady officer while she searched for a toilet and canceled her sorties ad nauseam as none of the Air Force officer was willing to fly with her. And she braved the situation inside the office of the un-civil sky warriors, trounced the ‘wild – hungry-eyed officers who would plead with their boss – I have never spoken to a woman, please cancel my assignment’ – to emerge, finally victorious? That an officer or two are shown as helping Gunjan and finally she proves herself doesn’t come out as a normal principal theme but as an aberration in a sea of un-gentlemen like vice-ridden crowd of men.

The movie has nothing to say about the great legacy, patriotism, and camaraderie existing in all wings of our armed forces. It’s a force that gave us Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, Arjan Singh Aulakh, fighter pilots Avani Chaturvedi, Mohana Singh Jitarwal, and Bhawana Kanth. It ain’t a crowd of whiskey sipping, lewd remark passing sexist vagabonds. That’s what one gathers after watching the movie and wonders if it is borrowed from the enemy’s Air Force mess entertainment library?

This movie has nothing to say about the dedication of the instructors, the respect and helpfulness of the colleagues who made Gunjan comfortable, and made her a successful pilot. The journey from her home to the cockpit wasn’t done in isolation but quintessentially with the help of all-male officers.

Did Gunjan tell the movie makers, the director all that? Yes, I am told and she told them very clearly about the factual conditions but her voice didn’t carry any weight.

Was she shown the movie’s final cut before it went to hit the screens?

No.

Whatever has come pout in the media, it seems the real Gunjan has said that she was experiencing equality in the force and no discrimination was shown to her.

Fine.

So, the next question is do we consider Netflix an independent republic that has unchecked, unrestricted rights to violate a nation’s code of business and show a thumb to the sensitivities of the host country? The OTT platform, (over the top media services) should have caught the government’s attention and they must have devised a method to check such assaults on the nation’s sensitivities and honour.

So now, the Indian Air Force is expected to fight the enemies on the border as well as do a PRO job, send complaints to various authorities of the government seeking redressal of its pain and the hurt. Why?

Why can’t the government’s arms, that deal with the subject take note of the issue suo moto and act without bothering the force to file applications to protect its image and save it from the onslaughts of the falsehood and acrimony by our own citizens? Should the sky warriors now also learn to become complaint babus? Netflix must be made to apologize and take back the movie. That’s the least we owe to our sky warriors. Big decorative words about the forces will look phony if this is not done.

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