BY SHASWAT KUMAR
Why do we become insecure at the face of criticism? One of the reasons behind our insecurity regarding our self-worth points to the gap between “Behind the scenes reality” and the glamourized illusionary reel on screen. Irrespective of whether divorcing films from reality is ethical or not, Bollywood makes money by fictionalising truth into false narratives.
Bollywood and its movies are always part of such controversies where they create scripts by neglecting the originality. And by doing so they earn both criticism and money at the same time. One such movie which recently became the elephant in the house is ‘Gunjan Saxena : The Kargil Girl’ . The story revolves around the biopic of a retired Indian Air Force officer named Gunjan Saxena. The movie is getting many bad reviews because of the intent it is showing which is against the nation and also the concealing of vital facts has led to its downfall. The movie makers are now facing harsh comments from both public and critics. Even the retired officer herself said that it was disheartening to see some people trying to tarnish her hard earned reputation with ‘nonsensical rants’ .
We first need to understand that what led the officer to comment so rudely. In what sense is the movie actually going wrong ? Let’s dive in to know more .
There are many scenes in the film which actually never happened . They have been accused of being a complete lie. The first exaggerated fact was told in a scene where Janhvi Kapoor is playing the role of Gunjan Saxena . The plot mentioned her as the first lady pilot who flew to Kargil but on the other hand retired IAF officers claim that Srividya Rajan is the first woman to get that honour . Infact Gunjan was not even the first woman officer to fly in combat zone and undergo the jungle and snow survival training . Moreover some other retired officers are not giving their consensus over the selection process which covers a major part of the movie . They mainly emphasize on the fact that the recruitment takes a longer time and lady fighters are being recruited since 1994 which varies with the reel 1999.
Now , bollywood always modifies the story to give flavours to such historic movies but when some things go against the national prestige , it is not acceptable at any cost . We have seen that at the time of Padmavat also . Gunjan Saxena movie directed by Sharan Sharma is facing protests from all over the nation . This is not solely because of peddling lies but also the way they have portrayed the image of a high profiled institution of the nation i.e. IAF. That’s why many are giving it a title of ‘anti nationalist drama’ .
Debasing the reputation of IAF in many scenes and infact in the major part of the movie is letting it down . Firstly the working of IAF in reel doesn’t matches with real . Secondly the blame on such a military organisation is that the superior officers don’t support their juniors specially if they are women. The movie raises the gender politics part by showing that the retired officer Gunjan Saxena was ill treated at the hands of her male superiors . She was treated unequally and even received less opportunities to serve the nation. Infact the originality of the Kargil war has been defamed .
It is incorrect for script writers to jeopardise the nation’s reputation by portraying false facts.
Definitely we don’t raise concern over the whole plot . Gunjan Saxena herself said that the character of hers is something on which everyone can rely. However IAF didn’t have a women’s toilet , this was a reality . And some officers definitely were strict but still didn’t differentiate on the virtues of gender. She always enjoyed equal opportunities . Ignoring such minute positives, we would come to a conclusion that the reel story of Gunjan Saxena revolves around things which actually never happened. Mythologizing history often gives the wrong message to consumers of media.
Authorities going ahead with movies made on real life stories should ensure the film revolves more around true facts that have been checked with the people and institutions involved. With the power that cinema holds, it would become very easy for movies where facts don’t check out to propagate the wrong ideas to the audience.