Flight Lieutenant (retd) Sreevidya Rajan has accused Flight Lieutenant (retd) Gunjan Saxena and the makers of ‘Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl’ (2020) to have falsified the narrative of the biopic. According to Rajan, she was the first female combat pilot at IAF, not Saxena.
Rajan shared her truth on Facebook, “In the movie, Gunjan Saxena was shown as the only lady pilot to fly in Kargil operations. This is factually incorrect. We were posted together to Udhampur and when the Kargil conflict started, I was the first woman pilot to be sent along with the male counterparts in the first detachment of our unit which deployed at Srinagar.”
Saxena has responded to allegations in an interview with NDTV, “When I went to Kargil, I never went there thinking of setting any records, or trying to make history. My only focus was to try and do my job as well as possible. Somewhere towards the end of the Kargil operations is when a media interaction was arranged by the air force for all the pilots there. It was at that time that my name was projected as being the first woman aviator flying in a combat zone. That is how it all started, in July 1999. From July 1999 till today, my name has featured in a number of headlines, in a number of articles, and in the Limca Book of Records, and, very ironically, in one of the promotion exams taken by the air force.”
“In all these years there was no controversy over this from anybody, so I don’t know where or how to address it. Between July 1999 and today, I don’t see what has changed. The only thing that has changed is this movie being released.”, she added. Saxena also clarified that her and Rajan never flew together or were stationed at the same time. “I cannot resolve this controversy on my own. It is beyond me.”