Vijay Karnik

Vijay Srinivas Karnik is a retired Wing Commander from the Indian Air Force who is known for his leadership during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. During the war, he was in charge of the Bhuj airbase. During the course of the war, the Bhuj airstrip was destroyed in air strikes in which Pakistani bombers dropped napalm bombs. The Bhuj airport attack has been compared to the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor by some.[1] The airfield was raided 35 times in 14 days with attacks by 92 bombs and 22 rockets.[2] Karnik rebuilt Bhuj Airport within 3 days with the help of 300 women from local areas.[3][4][5][6]

Vijay Srinivas Karnik
Born (1939-11-06) November 6, 1939 (age 82)
Allegiance India
Service/branch Indian Air Force
Years of service1962-1986
RankWing Commander of IAF.png Wing Commander
Unit6 Squadron
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1971, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Sino-Indian War
Spouse(s)Usha Karnik (m.1965)
ChildrenParesh Karnik, Shalakaa Karnik

Early lifeEdit

Karnik was born on 6 November 1939 in Nagpur to Srinivas Karnik and Tarabai Karnik.[7]

Air Force CareerEdit

Karnik was commissioned to the Indian Air Force on 26 May 1962.[7] In 1967, he was posted to Pune as a part of the 6 Squadron. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he was a Squadron Leader posted to the Bhuj Airstrip.[citation needed]

On the 8th of December, 1971, Pakistan launched an aerial attack on the Bhuj airbase and damaged the airstrip by dropping 14 Napalm bombs from the 8 squadrons of Sabre jets. The airstrip needed to be urgently rebuild due to the ongoing war. However, due to a lack of workers at Bhuj, Karnik convinced 300 women from a nearby village of Madhapar for help to rebuild the airstrip. Despite the ongoing bombings by the Pakistani jets, the women were able to complete the repair work in a record 72 hours and the airbase was able to resume its operations. At the end of the war, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, recognised and awarded the contribution of these women.[citation needed]

Karnik was promoted to Wing commander on 1 October 1985.[citation needed]

On 14 October 1986, Karnik retired from service.

Popular CultureEdit

Disney+ Hotstar's Bhuj: The Pride of India film where Ajay Devgn played the role of Vijay Srinivas Karnik and his work during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[8][9]


  1. ^ "भुज है भारत की पर्ल हार्बर, अजय देवगन के साथ काम करते दिखेंगे ये सितारे". आज तक (in Hindi). Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  2. ^ Sagar, Krishna Chandra (1997). The War of the Twins. Northern Book Centre. p. 212. ISBN 978-81-7211-082-6.
  3. ^ "In 1971, 300 Bhuj Women Risked Their Lives to Revive a Bombed Airstrip in 3 Days". The Better India. 2019-03-01. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  4. ^ "5 Facts About The Heroic Deeds That Inspired Ajay Devgn's 'Bhuj: The Pride of India'". 2020-05-22. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  5. ^ "#ShauryaStories: Bhuj The Pride of India". Zee News. 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  6. ^ "एयरफोर्स ऑफिसर विजय कार्णिक बनेंगे अजय देवगन, जिन्होंने 1971 की जंग में 300 महिलाओं के साथ मिलकर रचा था इतिहास". Dainik Jagran (in Hindi). Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  7. ^ a b टीम, एबीपी माझा वेब (2021-07-12). "पाकिस्तानच्या बॉम्बिंगला न डगमगता भुज विमानतळाची धावपट्टी दुरुस्त करणारे विजय कर्णिक". (in Marathi). Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  8. ^ Jha, Lata (2021-07-10). "Ajay Devgn's 'Bhuj: The Pride of India' to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar on 13 Aug". mint. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  9. ^ "Bhuj: The Pride Of India Motion Poster - Ajay Devgn Revives Memories Of "The Greatest Battle Ever Fought"". Retrieved 2021-07-12.