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HC asks Gunjan Saxena for her view on Netflix biopic

The Delhi High Court on Friday asked former Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena, based on whose life Netflix movie Gunjan Saxena - The Kargil Girl was made, to give her stand on the allegations that the movie depicted the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a bad light.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked Ms. Saxena, who was represented by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, to respond if she agreed with what had been shown in the film.

“I want to know your [Ms. Saxena’s] assessment of the film,” Justice Shakdher said, further asking Ms. Saxena if there was any violation of her agreement with the producers of the film. The court posted the case for hearing on October 15.

During the brief hearing, senior advocate Krishnan said his instructions from Ms. Saxena were that she had seen the film and, in fact, she felt it glorified the IAF. “That’s all I can say,” Mr. Krishnan said, adding that he would provide a proper response to the High Court’s specific queries.

The Ministry of Defence and the IAF, in the suit filed through the Central government’s standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, has claimed that facts had been “completely distorted” in the film to give an impression to the public at large that the IAF practices gender bias and discrimination.

The suit stated that the movie was never shown to the preview committee, set up in accordance with the Ministry of Defence’s 2013 guidelines, and that the producers of the movie went ahead with the release of the movie on Netflix without obtaining a no objection certificate (NOC) from the IAF.

The Ministry stated that a historical film made on the IAF, based on the life story of a war hero, has to be based on true incidents or instances, as the audience watching such a biopic film assumes they were actual and true events.

It said the IAF “has always provided equal opportunities to meritorious officers irrespective of their gender, caste, region, religion, etc.”

Dharma Productions, the producers of the film, had previously stated that the movie was only “inspired” by Ms. Saxena’s life.

The High Court had in previous hearings refused to stay the streaming of the movie, as sought by the Ministry.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 2:53:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hc-asks-gunjan-saxena-for-her-view-on-netflix-biopic/article32643186.ece

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