Some Lesser Known Facts About Vijay Karnik
- Vijay Karnik is a retired Indian Air Force personnel. He has served as a Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force. He is a war hero and is particularly known for his contributions in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
- He undertook the 21 NAV Course after being commissioned.
- During the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, Karnik was a squadron leader, and he was posted in Bhuj. He was in charge of the Bhuj Airport.
- On 8 December 1971, Pakistan attacked the Bhuj airbase and destroyed its airstrip by dropping 14 Napalm bombs from 8 squadrons of Sabre jets. The airstrip had to be made operational as soon as possible due to the ongoing war. As there was a lack of workers at the airbase, Karnik convinced 300 women from the Madhapar village nearby to help them rebuild the airstrip. The women had started working, but Pakistani jets kept bombing the airbase. Karnik instructed the women to cover the repaired portion of the airstrip with cow dung to camouflage their progress. He gave them instructions as to where to hide when the Pakistani jets would bomb the airbase. The women completed the repair work in 72 hours and helped the airbase resume its operations.
- When the war was over, the rebuilding of the airstrip was named as the “Pearl Harbour Moment of India”.
- After the war, Indira Gandhi recognized the contributions and the efforts of these women, and they were awarded a group award of 50,000 INR by the Indian Government.
- On 1 October 1985, Karnik was promoted as a Wing Commander.
- On 14 October 1986, Karnik retired from service.
- He loves golf, and he believes that golf is an ancient Indian game.
- Karnik is an ardent follower of Narendra Modi, and he supports the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
- On 19 March 2019, film producer Bhushan Kumar announced that he will be collaborating with Ajay Devgn to make a film about Vijay Karnik’s heroic tale of 1971, and how he built the Bhuj airstrip with the help of 300 women. The film will also star famous actors such as Sanjay Dutt, Parineeti Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, and Rana Daggubati.
Collaborating with @ajaydevgn once again, for #BhujThePrideOfIndia, based on Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik. The film will be directed by #AbhishekDudhaiya @TSeries #KrishanKumar #SelectMediaHoldingsLLP #GinnyKhanuja @vajir
— Bhushan Kumar (@itsBhushanKumar) March 19, 2019