Kiran Bedi interview on upcoming biopic: 'This story is not just mine but of every woman who represents India'

Kiran Bedi interview on upcoming biopic: 'This story is not just mine but of every woman who represents India'


Kiran Bedi and director Kushal Chawla during an interview in New Delhi

Kiran Bedi and director Kushal Chawla during an interview in New Delhi | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

“My life is an open book,” says Kiran Bedi, the country's first and highest-ranking woman police officer. “But there are many hidden stories that define me, my work, my life,” she smiles. Those unknown stories and the unseen challenges and triumphs of a tough police officer are set to be brought to the big screen. The name you know, the story you don'tBiopic of award-winning director Kushal Chawla, whose films, such as one way And another time, Has been part of major international festivals.

According to Chawla, pre-production of the scripted biopic on Kiran Bedi is about to begin. He wants to release the film in 2025, which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.th International Women's Year (IWY).

“Things happen on their own,” Bedi said while speaking on the sidelines of the biopic's announcement in Delhi. “In 1975, when the United Nations declared the year as IWY, I was on my first posting in Chandni Chowk subdivision and was selected to lead an all-male contingent of Delhi Police in the Republic Day parade. And now, my biopic is aiming to release in its golden jubilee year!”

Kiran Bedi and director Kushal Chawla

Kiran Bedi and director Kushal Chawla | Photo courtesy: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

Chawla said he was proud to write and direct a full-fledged feature film on Kiran Bedi, whose illustrious career would inspire generations to come.

Bedi said, “This story is not just mine but the story of every woman who represents Indianness and takes herself and the country to global heights.”

While serving as the governor of Puducherry between 2016 and 2021, Bedi received several offers for her biopic. “I kept turning them down, but it worked out with Kushal; he researched my life extensively for four-and-a-half years and waited for me to be free from official duty,” she says. She adds, “I think the time had come; one phase ends and naturally takes you to the next.”

Kiran Bedi, who is famous across three generations, turned 75 on June 9 and is also curious about who will play her. “People will be curious to know who their Kiran Bedi is because her image gets etched in everyone's mind, so the portrayal has to be impressive,” she says with a smile.

Chawla agrees that “it is a huge responsibility.” “I am making an authentic film that will complete the emotional narrative of the personal and professional challenges faced by Kiran ma'am and the sacrifices she made for public duty. The actor will be closest to her, with impeccable self-discipline, determination and resilience to succeed,” he says, unwilling to reveal more.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, who held her own in the male-dominated bastion of the police for 35 years, believes in the power of cinema to connect with the audience so that they can truly understand her as a woman in khaki. When asked how she has been assertive and outspoken in her different avatars from cop to political and social activist, she said, “Right from my childhood, my parents instilled in me the habit of giving, taught me to have a change-the-circumstances attitude, taught me to fear God and to be grateful to everyone around me.”

Kiran Bedi during an interview in New Delhi

Kiran Bedi during an interview in New Delhi | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

“I have never shied away from my responsibilities and my conscience drives me to do the right thing at the right time in the right way,” says the celebrated officer who rose from being a teenage tennis sensation to become a top officer. She says her parents are her role models who taught her the right values, giving her the strength and courage to move ahead despite her confrontations with her superiors, lawyers and courts during her eventful career.

She recalls her stint as DCP (traffic) during the Delhi Asian Games in 1982, when she cracked down on errant drivers, not sparing even the rich and influential citizens. She imposed spot fines instead of challans and earned the nickname Crane Bedi for towing wrongly parked vehicles and even got a car from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's office towed for wrong parking.

Known for breaking barriers with innovative solutions in law enforcement or social reforms in Tihar jail as IG (prisons), Bedi says her leadership skills, indomitable spirit and her work for equality and justice speak for themselves and she doesn't need a film to leave her legacy behind. “But the biopic is a divine blessing and Kushal's creative prowess will make my parents proud and immortalise their pain, sacrifice and their role in shaping me.”

Kiran Bedi during an interview in New Delhi

Kiran Bedi during an interview in New Delhi | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap


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