Synopsis: Saxena said that she was unable to comment on the expectations of the Central Government or the IAF about the film.
The Central Government, Dharma Productions and other stakeholders were asked by the Delhi High Court to “sort out” their differences over the depiction of the Indian Air Force in ‘Gunjan Saxena, The Kargil Girl’.
“Sit down with your colleagues, please … Exchange your thoughts and sort them out. Please interact and sort the issue,” said Justice Rajiv Shakdher.
Arguments made by the Centre against Dharma Productions were deferred after Justice Shakdher was advised to watch the film first.
In the case, Centre argued that Gunjan Saxena, a commercial film, was projected by Dharma Productions as a historical biopic and twisted the real and accurate facts solely for sensationalization.
In claiming that the film was contrary to the Indian Air Force’s ethos, work culture and ethic, the Centre prayed that the film’s theatrical release and online distribution, in its present form, be limited.
While Sanjay Jain, the Adiditonal Solicitor General, reiterated that the Indian Air Force had been seen in bad light, Harish Salve, Senior Advocate, who appears for Dharma Production, said that the film was only influenced by the life of Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena and the disclaimer clearly showed the same.
Salve also decided to add another disclaimer, following the recommendation of the Court, specifically indicating that the film was not based on the real-life story of Gunjan Saxena.
ASG Jain noted that the disclaimer can not annihilate the visual image, as he believed that the name of the film sent the message that the film was based on Ft Lt Saxena.
The Court asked the Centre, however, not to be too responsive.
“Perception varies ….. You may agree with that, or you may not. Don’t try to fit yourself in a package. They may be incorrect”, the Court said, while stating its view.
After it was proposed that the Court first watch the film, the Court proceeded to adjourn the case upto 18 January.
The Court, had in the earlier hearing had asked Flight Lt. Gunjan Saxena to submit an affidavit in the case.
Saxena explained in her affidavit before the Court that it is not her contention that anything seen in the film came from her real life.
Saxena said that the movie was a ‘dramatic portrayal’ of her journey, adding, that the message sought to be communicated through the film is to inspire young women to join the Indian Air Force (‘IAF’) and to empower young women to follow their goals on a wider canvas, not to doubt themselves and to work hard towards their objectives.
She said that there was an arrangement between her and Dharma Productions in which the latter had claimed the right to make the film using fictitious scenes, actions, etc. It is also explained that Saxena did not have a copy of the final script and did not participate in the film’s approval process or its making either.
Furthermore, with utmost respect, Saxena argued that she could not comment on the opinion of the Central Government or the IAF about the film in question because the opinion of everyone is different.