Post the release of Janhvi Kapoor's Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Gunjan Saxena's coursement, retired Flight Lieutenant Sreevidya Rajan slammed the makers for the creative liberties in the biopic, and claimed that she was the first female pilot in combat and not Gunjan.
Reacting to Sreevidya's claims, Gunjan later said in an interview that her name was projected as being the first woman to fly for the IAF in a combat zone at a media interaction organised by IAF after the Kargil conflict. Recently, in an interview with Mid-day, Sreevidya Rajan opened up about why she didn't speak up before the biopic's release.
Sreevidya Says Her Friends And Colleagues Suggested Her To Respond To What Was Shown In The Film
Sreevidya told the tabloid, "I cannot question a filmmaker why they chose her (Gunjan Saxena) and not me. When I saw her being portrayed as the first woman pilot, my friends and colleagues suggested I respond to it. But I thought as long as the story inspires women to join the forces, I am happy."
Sreevidya revealed that when she had asked Gunjan about the film during one of their conversations in 2017, she was told that it would be about Gunjan's life.
Sreevidya On The Makers Of Gunjan Saxena Not Including Any Mention Of Her In The Biopic
She told the tabloid that she spoke to Gunjan earlier this week, and expressed her concerns. The tabloid quoted her as saying, "I told her it was an oversight on her and the filmmakers' part to not reflect me at all."
Sreevidya Rajan Throws Some Light On What Had Happened
"When the first batch went to war, only designated senior officers from Delhi were allowed to speak to the media; we were [barred from] interacting with them. I remember speaking only to Barkha Dutt, who had specifically asked for an interview with a woman pilot [carrying out missions]. By the time the second crew came, the media was allowed and Gunjan was interviewed. Naturally, people assumed she was the first woman [to achieve the feat], but after the war, the IAF arranged for press interactions with both of us. As per the IAF rules, coursemates cannot fly together in the same aircraft, so she flew the sortie for NDTV's video interview," Sreevidya told Mid-day.
Sreevidya Opens Up About Her Current Equation With Gunjan Saxena
Sreevidya said that she has nothing against her coursemate Gunjan Saxena. She said that Gunjan is a woman of achievements that haven't even made it to the film. She further added, "Neither Gunjan nor I will throw muck at each other on a public platform. When you have served in a war together, you are like siblings. A film can never come between us."
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl released on August 12, 2020 on Netflix.