Former Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena Thursday told the Delhi High Court that she has not faced any discrimination on the basis of her gender in the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is a very progressive institution. She maintained that IAF gave her an opportunity to serve the nation, including in the Kargil War and she will forever remain grateful for the opportunities given to her by the force.
Saxena made the submissions in her affidavit in a suit filed by the Centre seeking a decree of permanent injunction against the Netflix, Dharma Productions and others from broadcasting or releasing in theatres or any other digital platform the film ‘Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl’, without grant of no-objection certificate (NOC) from it.
According to the Centre, the film which was streaming on Netflix, depicts the IAF in poor light and dents its image as it shows that the force is gender biased, which is not correct. Saxena, in her affidavit filed before Justice Rajiv Shakdher, clarified that the movie is not a documentary but is only inspired by her life and it is clear from the two disclaimers placed at the beginning of the film which gives a message to motivate young women to join IAF.
The Deponent (Saxena) does not claim that everything that is shown in the movie has happened with her in her real life. However, the deponent believes that the message sought to be conveyed through the movie is to motivate young women to join the Indian Air Force and, on a broader canvas, the aim is to inspire young women to pursue their dreams, not to doubt themselves and to work hard towards their goals, she said in the affidavit filed through advocate Aditya Dewan.
She added that while she has no control over the exercise of ‘creative liberties’ during the making of the movie, it remains as fact that in so far as the deponent is concerned, at an institutional level, the deponent has not faced any discrimination on the basis of her gender. The IAF rather gave the deponent an opportunity to serve the nation, including in the Kargil War.
The retired officer said she has utmost respect for IAF and cannot comment on the Centre of the force’s perception about the movie in question as everybody’s perception is different. The high court had earlier issued notices and sought response of Dharma Productions Private Limited, which produced the film, its directors Karan Yash Johar and Hiroo Yash Johar, CEO Apporva Mehta, Zee Entertainment, director of the movie Sharan Sharma, Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP, M/s Netflix and Gunjan Saxena on the Centre’s suit to remove the movie from all OTT platforms. The court has also sought response of the parties on the interim application seeking interim injunction to remove the movie from all OTT platforms.