Saturday, January 16, 2021
Home Editor's picks Wing Commander Namrita Chandi hits out on Karan Johar’s Dharma Production for ‘monstrous film’...

Wing Commander Namrita Chandi hits out on Karan Johar’s Dharma Production for ‘monstrous film’ Gunjan Saxena for showing IAF in poor light

The rebuttal, according to the former Air Force officer Chandi, has more to do with the house of Dharma Productions, owned by Karan Johar and all those 'penny dreadful' story and screenplay writers, who have contributed to this monstrous film that has shown the Indian Air Forces officers in the proud blue uniform in very poor light.

Amidst the ongoing controversy that has erupted over Bollywood movie ‘Gunjan Saxena’ for negatively portraying the Indian Air Force, a former Air Force officer has written a scathing letter to the makers of the movie saying that they cannot peddle lies in the name of creative freedom.

In her letter to the makers of the movie – ‘Gunjan Saxena’, published by the Outlook, Wing Commander Namrita Chandi (Retd) has a written a detailed response addressing the negative portrayal of the Indian Armed Forces, especially Indian Air Force and has given a befitting reply by rejecting the claims of extreme gender bias, misogyny and even harassment of women in the IAF as portrayed in the movie.

Wing Commander Chandi (Retd.), in her letter, has said that both men and women have trained together in the Armed Forces and have seen each other under the worst of circumstances.

“This rebuttal to “Gunjan Saxena, The Kargil Girl”, has as little to do with Gunjan, as has the film,” Chandi categorically clarifies at the beginning.

Moviemakers showed Air Force officers in poor light

The rebuttal, according to the former Air Force officer Chandi, has more to do with the house of Dharma Productions, owned by Karan Johar and all those ‘penny dreadful’ story and screenplay writers, who have contributed to this monstrous film that has shown the Indian Air Forces officers in the proud blue uniform in very poor light. 

“I saw this film with little expectation. Very few films do any justice to truth, as it stands. Film makers issue disclaimers and also absolve themselves under the guise of cinematic license and creative freedom,” adds Wing Commander Chandi (Retd.).

The Air Force officer said that the cinematic licences and creative freedom can be applied to bubble gum films like ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum’ type but cannot be stretched into an absolute travesty of set rules and established protocols of hallowed institutions like the Indian Air Force.

She added that even though she was not certain what Gunjan could have told the researchers of the film about her experiences in the crew room, but she can say with authority and absolute iron-clad surety that no one who has worn a uniform, even for the five or six years like Gunjan did, will ever feed such a scenario to the ‘makers of puerile cinema’.

Men in uniform are true gentlemen and professionals, says former officer

Narrating her own experience during her days at the Indian Air Force, Namrita Chandi said, “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. They go out of their way to make lady officers comfortable and adjust. Yes, initially there were teething troubles like no changing rooms or exclusive ladies toilets; yet the men made space for us. Sometimes, my brother officers stood guard outside the curtain while I changed. Never in my entire career span of 15 years have I been disrespected or mistreated”.

The former officer also added that the flight commanders, the people who wield the burden in all operational squadrons are men of great professional competence and not in the least like that man depicted in the film. “Every pilot in the Air Force has to prove himself: Man or woman, says the retired officer.

Attacks Karan Johar’s production house for distorting facts

Launching a scathing attack on moviemakers over distorting facts to suit their narrative, Wing Commander Namrita Chandi (Retd.) added that creative license is one thing but when someone deals with institutions, they cannot change facts. Elaborate and fantasise, if you must but don’t peddle lies, she wrote.

Putting some facts in her letter, officer Chandi said that it was Srividya Rajan, who was the first lady pilot who flew to Kargil – not Gunjan as depicted in the movie.

Explaining a scene in the movie where an Army Major makes certain comments on the character of Gunjan Saxena, Retd officer Chandi said that even an imbecile knows that once you are a commissioned officer, you are committed to the constitution of India and asked the moviemakers not to make a civilian even imagine that it is even possible to disobey orders.

“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, an area where the superstitious belief was that the Army suffered casualties whenever a lady visited Base Camp! But not once did my colleagues or flight commander raise objections to my flying or had doubts on my ability. My husband and I were both posted together in Leh from December 2000 till December 2002. If I was suspect, he would be the first person to object,” she explained the way Indian Armed Forces functioning without discriminating based on gender.

The former Air Force helicopter pilot said that the entire narrative in the movie is skewed and as far from the truth as chalk and cheese. If this film attempted at infusing patriotism in the country’s women, and she as a young woman would run as far away from the Indian Air Force as possible! The film shows misogyny at its worst, she attacked Karan Johar’s production house for stereotyping institutions.

Lady officers are hurt and shocked

She added that her lady officer colleagues are shocked and very saddened by what has been represented and conveyed through this movie. The social media, sometimes, convolutes the facts in a manner that dilute the importance of gallantry awards.

The news that Gunjan Saxena got a Shaurya Chakra is absolutely untrue, reveals Namrita Chandi. She said the moviemakers have played with the facts, which are demeaning the sanctity and bravery of genuine Shaurya Chakra winners. 

“I reiterate that none of us have anything against Gunjan. Our greatest objection is to the way the lady officers have been shown. My fellow lady officers, and I, down the years, fiercely defend our male colleagues. They have welcomed us and given us equal respect. We learned, albeit the hard way, but to co-exist with utmost harmony and respect for each other.”

The officer revealed how the seniors took them under their wings and taught them, sometimes harshly, but mostly with a gentle and firm grip. In any case, we were ready to venture into a male-dominated territory where the initial foray was naturally met with resistance, she narrated her positive experience during her days at Indian Air Force.

“I served for a full 15 years as a helicopter pilot and can call myself a very proud Indian Air Force veteran. There is no way that I will allow the image of the force to be tarnished like this, whether it is due to creativity or cinematic license,” said Wing Commander Namrita Chandi (Retd.)

Concluding her letter, Wing Commander Namrita Chandi also advises Jahnavi Kapoor, who played the role of Gunjan Saxena in the movie, to state that she must have come away with a poor and pathetic impression of women. “Lady, let me advise 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,” the former officer penned down her thought on the recent controversy.

The controversy surrounding the movie ‘Gunjan Saxena’

The issue came to the fore when the ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’, that essays the role of India’s first woman pilot Gunjan Saxena, landed in a controversy after it was released on Netflix, after viewers and Armed Forces veterans raised objections over the negative portrayal of the Indian Air Force in the commercial film.

The Indian Armed Force shot off a letter to Dharma Productions, Netflix and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), protesting against the inaccurate representation of gender discrimination in the Air Forces as portrayed in the movie. The Air Force said that certain scenes and dialogues in the movie portray it in a bad light. Gunjan Saxena herself told a media agency that she didn’t experience any gender bias in the IAF.

According to an official privy to the details, before the release of the movie, the Indian Air Force had requested Dharma Productions to modify or delete the objectionable scenes. However, no such action was taken by the Karan Johar-owned production house. Following the allegations of the baseless negative portrayal of IAF, the National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Rekha Sharma also urged the filmmakers to stop the streaming of the film on Netflix.

It is also pertinent to note that the letter by the IAF was written after the Defence Ministry’s letter to the CBFC last month, raising objections to the depiction of armed personnel in some web series.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar spreads fake news on paddy procurement by govt: Read full details of letter written by govt of India

PIB Additional Director General sent a letter to NDTV after Ravish Kumar used wrong data to accuse govt of lying about paddy procurement

Ashoka University removes links introducing Nidhi Razdan as Harvard professor, another institute quietly edits website: Details

The Ashoka University has announced that it is withdrawing tweets and posts related to Nidhi Razdan.

Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: Former Director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab says the University does not offer journalism courses

Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job.

Nidhi Razdan got ‘scammed’ into believing that she got a job from Harvard University: Here is what does not make sense in her story

While Nidhi Razdan says that the Harvard job she was offered was fake, last year she had said she is teaching in Harvard

Nidhi Razdan was scammed into believing she got an offer from the real Harvard University to become a professor of journalism: Details

Nidhi Razdan, formerly with NDTV, has revealed that she was the victim of a phishing attack and Harvard never came calling.

Pakistan aircraft PIA Boeing 777 seized by authorities, passengers stranded: Read why Malaysia acted against PIA

Malaysian authorities seized a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing-777 at the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

Recently Popular

Twitter run-chase: Anti-Modi Indians vote for Imran Khan in ICC Twitter poll to make Virat Kohli lose

On Tuesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) ran a poll to decide who is the best cricketer as a captain. The ICC poll included three legendary players and a Pakistani cricketer in the poll.

Vanishing barons: Alibaba founder Jack Ma and 4 other Chinese billionaires who had mysteriously gone missing

Several prominent elites from China who had ran afoul with the CCP had mysteriously disappeared from the public eye, including Jack Ma

Nidhi Razdan was scammed into believing she got an offer from the real Harvard University to become a professor of journalism: Details

Nidhi Razdan, formerly with NDTV, has revealed that she was the victim of a phishing attack and Harvard never came calling.

The Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: A user had sounded off the alarms as early as September 2020

Nidhi Razdan revealed on Friday that she fell victim to a phishing scam and confirmed that she was never offered a job by Harvard.

NCERT says it has no information on source of claim made in textbook that Mughals had rebuilt temples after destroying them

NCERT History textbook says that Shahjahan and Aurangzeb have issued grants for rebuilding temples destroyed in war

From ‘no trust on BJP’s vaccine’ to ‘impotency’ to ‘they can cause death’, Samajwadi Party’s petty politics over COVID-19 vaccine just does not end

Samajwadi Party has been continuously trying to create an atmosphere of panic by spreading fake news about Covid-19 vaccine

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar spreads fake news on paddy procurement by govt: Read full details of letter written by govt of India

PIB Additional Director General sent a letter to NDTV after Ravish Kumar used wrong data to accuse govt of lying about paddy procurement

Ashoka University removes links introducing Nidhi Razdan as Harvard professor, another institute quietly edits website: Details

The Ashoka University has announced that it is withdrawing tweets and posts related to Nidhi Razdan.

Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: Former Director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab says the University does not offer journalism courses

Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job.

Fresh wave of coronavirus cases reported in Hebei province, massive quarantine centres being built by Chinese govt

China has transferred more than 20 thousand people to these makeshift centres at Shijiazhuang in Hebei province after fresh cases emerged in the North China province.

Nidhi Razdan got ‘scammed’ into believing that she got a job from Harvard University: Here is what does not make sense in her story

While Nidhi Razdan says that the Harvard job she was offered was fake, last year she had said she is teaching in Harvard

Rajasthan: SDM was seeking bribe during meeting where CM Gehlot spoke against corruption, arrested

SDM Pinky Meena, and SDM Pushkar Mittal, along with the agent of a former SP have been arrested for taking bribes over a national highway project.

‘Tit for Tat’, ‘Work of Art’: Netizens react to the Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco, question her logic

Netizens have been commenting on the Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco and pointed out the incredulousness of the whole situation.

Puja Bharti murder case from Ranchi: Facebook account of victim deleted, BJP questions police inaction

The BJP has warned that it will hit the streets to protest in case the culprits are not arrested soon.

The Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: A user had sounded off the alarms as early as September 2020

Nidhi Razdan revealed on Friday that she fell victim to a phishing scam and confirmed that she was never offered a job by Harvard.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,700SubscribersSubscribe