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Gunjan Saxena: Indian Air Force raises objection to negative portrayal in Janhvi Kapoor film

BusinessToday.In     August 13, 2020

The Indian Air Force wrote to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Karan Johar's Dharma Productions and Netflix about certain scenes in the trailer of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl that portrayed the IAF in a negative light. The letter also states that as per initial understanding, Karan Johar had promised to "represent Indian Air Force with authenticity and make all efforts to ensure that the film helps inspire the next generation of IAF officers."

However, when the trailer was released, the IAF deemed it as inappropriate representation and as detrimental to its interests. In this letter addressed to the CBFC, Dharma Productions and Netflix, the IAF also talked about how the IAF as a service has always ensured that male and female personnel get equal opportunities and that the organisation is gender-neutral. The service also attached an annexure comprising all the scenes and dialogues that were considered problematic.

The Air Force in its letter went on to state that the production house was informed about the objectionable content in advance and was asked to either delete or modify the same. The letter read, "The production house has not deleted the scenes but had proposed a media plan in the run up to the release and inserting a disclaimer in the movie. The HQ considers that a mere media plan and disclaimer would not be adequate to prevent the presentation of incorrect facts about the IAF."

The Censor Board has little power on the release of web series and films that don't fall under its purview. The Defence Ministry wrote to the CBFC last month urging them to direct producers of OTT films and series to seek permission and a 'no-objection certificate' while generating content around the Indian Armed Forces.

Janhvi Kapoor-starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl released on Netflix on Wednesday. Directed by Sharan Sharma, Janhvi portrays the titular role of Gunjan Saxena, the first female IAF officer to enter a warzone. Gunjan Saxena played a significant role in the Kargil War of 1999.

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