Pankaj Tripathi, who plays the role of Gunjan Saxena's father Anup Saxena, in the recently released Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, says that our society needs more fathers like Anup.
In the film, Anup is seen to be a very empowering figure for Gunjan, a lone voice who encourages his little girl to follow her dreams of becoming a pilot and later supports her journey to becoming an Indian Air Force officer.
Speaking to Mid-Day, Pankaj said about Anup, "There's no taking away the fact that our society needs more fathers like Anup Saxena. To have a parent like him who encouraged his child to break the shackles of patriarchy was rare and empowering for a girl in the '90s. She could dream fearlessly because she was given the impetus at home by her father who harped on gender equality. It was this quality that attracted me to the film."
He credited his success to the women in his life and said,"While I was filming Gunjan Saxena, I realised I have traces of Anup in me and want to continue being that parent to my daughter. It's my most cherished compliment that my wife and daughter are happy with my portrayal of the role."
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is a biopic on an IAF officer, who is said to be the first woman IAF pilot to fly into combat. Apart from Pankaj, the film also stars Janhvi Kapoor, Angad Bedi and others, and has been directed by Sharan Sharma. The film has received much appreciation from critics. However, it has also been marred by controversy for allegedly portraying the Indian Air Force in a negative light.