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Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl - by Ali Haider

The movie, Gunjan Saxena is a true story based on a girl (Gunjan Saxena) who dreams of becoming a pilot and finally, against all the odds, goes on to become an officer in the Indian Air Force. She served in the Kargil War and successfully completed over 40 missions. She was one of the first ever female pilots in the air force and therefore had to face enormous discrimination. The movie brilliantly shows the challenges that she faced after entering the completely male dominated field. However, her father who also had been an officer in the Indian Army supports Gunjan throughout her life and tells her that it does not matter if it’s a man flying a plane or a woman, both are called pilots.


This movie shows how difficult it is for women to deviate from the traditional roles and to follow their own passion, their own dreams. It shows the misogynistic nature of our society in which women are marginalised because of their physical differences. It also shows how the socially created toxic masculinity in our society finds it really hard to accept a feminine being as someone with equal skills, competency and ability as a masculine being.


On the bright side however, the film shows that it is possible for a woman to be what she wants to be. It shows that these boundaries and limitations that exist in the world, that keep women and in some cases men as well from achieving their true potential, are artificial and therefore breakable. The movie also gives parents an important lesson. It teaches that parents should always treat their children, whatever their gender, equally and that they should encourage their children, especially female children, to break the normally held boundaries.


The film, however, portrays Pakistani soldiers in a way that appears stereotyped. The Pakistani soldiers’ appearance is shown like that of the Taliban, clad in shalwaar kameez and turban. Somebody needs to tell them that our army had a uniform too.


Overall, it’s a good movie. Some lines in the movie are really powerful, especially those of Pankaj Tripathi. I really enjoyed watching it and would recommend you to watch it as well. Thank you !




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8 Comments


I haven't watched the movie but I've wanted to for a while now, and yes women really aren't allowed to have the same ambitions as men by society

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Aqsa you are absolutely right. Our society does not easily accept women's success. What a shame.


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Sara Arif
Sara Arif
Jul 07, 2021

Even though they tried I feel like it wasn't up to the mark where it set a benchmark or was a game changer. Good read

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Sara Arif
Sara Arif
Jul 08, 2021
Replying to

But agreed, it's definitely a start and I didn't know it was based on a real story until right now! Wow

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safa.imran11
safa.imran11
Jul 07, 2021

I am personally always wary of representations of strong women in places that have historically served to administer violence such as militaries. Maybe it is just me, but I don't see it as very empowering, rather just upholding state narratives.

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Replying to

Thank you Safa ! I think I understand your point but .. this movie being based on a real life story made it powerful for me and I wrote my blog on it.

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This reminded me of "Ek thi Marium". I will definitely watch this movie. We have reached 21st century and women still have to fight against the cruel society's so called norms and cultures and give justification even about their success at every stage of life....

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