Treat plea against Gunjan Saxena movie as representation: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the authorities to treat the petition seeking a stay on the streaming of Netflix movie ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl for allegedly portraying a negative image of the Indian Air Force (IAF), as a representation.

“We hereby direct the concerned respondent authorities to decide the representation of the petitioner in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policies applicable to the facts of the case,” said a division bench of the court presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.

The court’s direction came after the counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that he would be satisfied if the government bodies are directed by the court to consider his representation. The court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Justice for Rights Foundation through advocate Amit Kumar Sharma.

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The petition seeks directions of the court to the filmmakers to modify or delete the objectionable dialogues and scenes in the movie ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’, which allegedly portrays the prestigious Indian Air Force (IAF) in “undue poor light”.

“In the garb of creative and artistic freedom the production house of the film ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ has portrayed the Indian Air Force in an undue negative light. Some scenes and dialogues in the movie are factually incorrect, misleading and portray an inappropriate work culture to glorify the screen character of former Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena,” the plea said.

The petitioner further states that several male officers have been projected as misogynists to suit the film’s false narrative. “The false and negative portrayal of the Indian Air Force is an abuse of freedom of expression which ought to be censured. Before the release of the movie ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’, the IAF had requested Dharma Productions to modify or delete the objectionable scenes that portray the IAF in a negative light,” the plea said.

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The plea states that as per the initial understanding, Dharma Productions had promised to “represent Indian Air Force with authenticity and to make all efforts to ensure that the film helps inspire the next generation of IAF officers”.

“The production house did not modify or delete the scenes objected to by the Indian Air Force, they just simply inserted a disclaimer. A mere disclaimer would not be sufficient and adequate to prevent the presentation of incorrect facts about the Indian Air Force,” it said.

The petitioner has further claimed that the gender discrimination which has been portrayed in the movie is “incorrect, false and misleading”.

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“Over and above, it is not factually corroborated. The glorious and prestigious Indian Air Force has ensured that the organisation is gender neutral and has always provided an equal opportunity to both male and female personnel,” the plea said.

“It is a well-known fact that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has the largest number of women officers serving actively. The Indian Air Force was the first to open all its branches to women officers, including combat roles in 2015,” the plea said further. –IANS/anb/kr

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