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IAF Officer Sreevidya Rajan Says Gunjan Saxena Wasn't First Woman to be Posted to Udhampur or Fly in Kargil

Janhvi Kapoor in and as Gunjan Saxena.

Janhvi Kapoor in and as Gunjan Saxena.

Sreevidya Rajan, who was posted with Gunjan Saxena at the IAF base in Udhampur, has called out Dharma Productions for showing Gunjan as the only woman pilot at the Udhampur base.

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is facing more allegations of factual incorrectness. While the Indian Air Force had objected to their portrayal in the film, Kerala-based IAF officer Sreevidya Rajan has now taken offence to the biopic.

Sreevidya, who was posted with Gunjan Saxena at the IAF base in Udhampur, has not been shown in the film. She has voiced her displeasure in a Facebook post, calling out Dharma Productions for showing Gunjan as the only woman pilot at the Udhampur base.

"Both of us were posted to Udhampur in 1996 but in the movie, it was shown that she was the only lady pilot posted at the unit. Since the two of us were the first lady pilots to be posted to that helicopter unit, we were skeptical about our acceptance in the male-dominated niche area of flying," Sreevidya wrote.

Dharma productions latest movie," Gunjan Saxena the Kargil girl" has attracted a lot of mixed views from our fellow...Posted by Sreevidya Rajan on Sunday, August 16, 2020

Dharma productions latest movie," Gunjan Saxena the Kargil girl" has attracted a lot of mixed views from our fellow...Posted by Sreevidya Rajan on Sunday, August 16, 2020

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However, Sreevidya said that they received support from the majority of the officers at the base. This is in contrast to the film, where Gunjan is seen with only one ally in a senior male officer. She is shown as a victim of casual and outright misogyny by the other men.

She also said that in the movie, Gunjan Saxena is shown as the only lady pilot to fly in Kargil operations, which is factually incorrect.

"We were posted together to Udhampur and when the Kargil conflict started, I was the first woman pilot to be sent along with the male counterparts in the first detachment of our unit which deployed at Srinagar. I flew missions in the conflict area even before Gunjan's arrival at Srinagar. After a few days of operation, Gunjan Saxena came to Srinagar with the next set of crew. We actively participated in all operations given to us which included casualty evacuation, supply drop, communication sorties, SAR, etc. The heroic acts of the protagonist portrayed in the climax never actually happened and may have been shown as part of cinematic licence," Sreevidya said.