Sreevidya Rajan, who served with Gunjan Saxena, reveals why she didn’t raise objections ahead of biopic release – Bollywood


Former Indian Air Force pilot Gunjan Saxena has been at the center of controversy following the publication of a biopic on her life, starring Janhvi Kapoor and directed by Sharan Sharma. Since the film’s release, concerns have been raised about its historical accuracy, particularly about Gunjan’s stature as the first female IAF pilot to fly in the combat zone. A fellow pilot, retired Flight Lieutenant Sreevidya Rajan, claimed she was the first female pilot, not Gunjan.

In an interview with Mid-Day, Sreevidya said it was an oversight on the part of the filmmakers not to include any mention of her at all and to propagate an alternate narrative that excluded her accomplishments. She said that in a conversation she had with Gunjan in 2017, she asked about the film and was told it would be about Gunjan’s life.

“I can’t ask a filmmaker why they chose her and not me. When I saw her being described as the first female pilot, my friends and colleagues suggested that I respond. But I thought as long as the story inspires women to come together, I’m happy, ”she said. Sreevidya also mentioned that she spoke to Gunjan earlier this week and expressed her concerns. “I told her it was an oversight on her and the part of the filmmakers not to reflect me at all,” she said.

Gunjan, in an interview with NDTV on Tuesday, spoke of the confusion. She said: “When I went to Kargil I never went there thinking about setting records or trying to make history. My only goal was to fly and do my job to the best of my ability. She said that towards the end of the conflict, the IAF organized a media interaction, and it was then that her name was billed as the first woman to fly for the IAF in a combat zone. “From July 1999 until today my name has appeared in a number of titles, in a number of articles, and in the Limca Book of Records, and in one of the promotion exams taken by the military. air, ”she said.

Also read: Gunjan Saxena Responds to Sreevidya Rajan’s Claims of Being the First Female Combat Pilot: ‘Never Fly With Her At The Same Time’

Shedding light on the media perception of the events, Sreevidya continued: “When the first group went to war, only designated senior officers from Delhi were allowed to speak to the media; we were [barred from] interact with them. I remember speaking only to Barkha Dutt, who specifically requested an interview with a female pilot [carrying out missions]. By the time the second team arrived, the media was cleared and Gunjan was interviewed. Naturally, people thought she was the first woman [to achieve the feat], but after the war the IAF organized press exchanges with both of us. In accordance with IAF rules, classmates cannot fly together in the same plane, so she went out for the NDTV video interview.

Regarding their current equation, she added, “I have nothing against her. She’s a woman with achievements that haven’t even been to the movies. Neither Gunjan nor I will throw mud at a public platform. When you have served together in a war, you are like brothers and sisters. A film can never come between us.

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