Know these 5 highlights about the real life hero before you watch Airlift
The Movie based on the Real life story of Ranjit Katyal will give you goosebumps and realise importance of being human.
- In 1990, the Arab world was shocked by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait orchestrated by the then dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. While most of the royal Kuwaiti family fled to Saudi Arabia overnight, millions of people were stranded in the war-torn country, mercilessly attacked by the Iraqi forces. Among those stranded in the gulf nation were 1,70,000 Indians pleading the Indian Embassy to take them back home.
- The Indian government didn’t want to invite the wrath of the international community by directly negotiating with Iraq and thus encouraged various back-channels to figure out a strategy on how to reach the Indian community and safely evacuate them from the conflict zones. Ranjit Katyal, one of the most influential Kuwaiti businessmen who saw himself as a Kuwaiti first and then an Indian businessman, came to the rescue of the Indian government.
- Ranjit Katyal was a resourceful man. Apart from the wealth he had accumulated in the Oil-rich country, it was his contacts with the higher-ups in the government that the Indian government wanted to exploit. He was a deep asset for India and the last hope for thousands of Indians.
- At a time when Saddam Hussein refused to adhere to any advice from the western world, he obliged India for the evacuation of its people in a phased manner. Although it was never made official, Ranjit Katyal was instrumental in arranging for a meet of India’s external affairs minister IK Gujral and Saddam Hussein which cleared grounds for the evacuation operations to start.
- The logistics for thousands of Indians to reach Amman from various parts of Kuwait was arranged by Ranjit Katyal. A few military flights were deployed to first test the agreement. Initially elderly, women and children were flown back to India and only when it was deemed fit by the Indian agents on the ground that Air India was allowed to start operations from the Kuwaiti capital.