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How many Indian households can boast of a father who rebels against all odds just to help his daughter reach the zenith of success? Very few, like Gunjan Saxena’s father.
“Plane ladka udaye ya ladki, woh pilot hi kehlata hai” (Irrespective of who flies a plane man or woman, the person at the controls is called a pilot) is one of the best statements by Gunjan Saxena’s father who unlike most Indian fathers does not miss a single opportunity to become the wind beneath his daughter’s aspirations!
Thank God for such fathers who feel that a woman just like her male counterparts is out there to fulfill her dreams and that there is nothing abnormal about that.
Gender inequality is rampant and is prevalent since time immemorial. But it’s time we have individuals like Gunjan Saxena’s father, Lieutenant Anup Saxena, who transcends beyond the stereotypical conventions that the society demands a woman to be confined in.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl chronicles the journey of some serious gender discriminations against the protagonist and how her father stands by her undeterred!
Unfortunately men are preordained to perform well at everything they take up, however when women decide to do the same, they raise quite a few eyebrows. Women often face extremely sexist remarks which are at times explicit or implicit, Gunjan is no exception.
It’s disheartening to note that while being at work she is denied the basic- a women’s toilet or even a changing area that leaves her often embarrassed in front of her male counterparts!
This also hampers her work until she invents a makeshift area behind the almirah to change for work! Is this even close to women empowerment that we cry our lungs out every day? This is not even administering the basic rights to a woman that she deserves leave alone giving her equal importance as her male colleagues.
However it is brilliant to see how on one hand if there are handful of men who try and curtail her aspirations at every stage on the other hand she has another man as the rock solid pillar who constantly becomes the wind beneath her wings to help her scale greater heights- Gunjan’s father! When the entire world walks out on her it is her father who stands by her undeterred; it is his unwavering belief in his daughter that helps Gunjan Saxena become the Kargil girl that she intended to.
While Sharan Sharma makes a compelling directorial debut highlighting brutal patriarchy and its impact on a woman’s dreams, ultimately what wins our heart is the ode to the father-daughter relationship that becomes the strong subplot of the film.
How many Indian households can boast of a father who rebels against all odds just to help his daughter reach the zenith of success? Very few!
Unfortunately Indian society doesn’t really encourage parents to bring up their children specially girls with a lot of courage and boldness. In a society where marriage is still a sacrosanct affair the camaraderie between Gunjan Saxena and her father Anuj Saxena as portrayed by director Sharan Sharma is purely a breath of fresh air! It gives hope to many daughters in Indian households to dream, and opportunities for fathers to treat their daughter and son equally irrespective of what the societal expectations burden them with!
Set in 1999 the idea of battling fierce patriarchy and undue gender discrimination, Gunjan Saxena, The Kargil Girl becomes a prelude to many such tales that would hopefully bring in a great paradigm shift in the minds of Indian audience at large!
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