‘Purab Ki Awaz’ : Hindi Film on Freedom Fighter Kanaklata

One of the country’s youngest and most influential freedom fighters ever, Kanaklata became a martyr of Indian freedom struggle at the tender age of just 14 years, on September 20, 1942. She was shot dead by the British while she was attempting to hoist the Indian national flag.

Urmila Mahanta in 'Epah Phulil Epah Xoril'

Recently, a function was held to mark the death anniversary of Birangana Kanaklata at the Guwahati Press Club, wherein the bilingual films in Assamese and Hindi, depicting the life and sacrifice of this outstanding symbol of resistance, entitled ‘Epah Phulil Epah Xoril’ and ‘Purab Ki Awaz’ respectively, now in their post production stages, were announced, amidst an august gathering. The films made under the banner of ‘L.P.K.G. Film Production’, is produced by Loknath Deka and directed by the well-known filmmaker Chandra Mudoi.

Director Chandra Mudoi and producer Loknath Deka (R) with Kanaksen Deka at the Guwahati Press Club

While speaking of ‘Purab Ki Awaz’, director Mudoi stated that the objective behind it’s making is not just to honour a brave soul but also to draw the attention of audiences across the country. While it is an opportunity to reach a bigger audience, he strongly feels that Birangana Kanaklata’s ideals and contributions must be remembered with outmost respect and an open mind.

“The bravery and sacrifice of freedom fighters like Shahid Bhagat Singh, Mangal Pandey and others are well known and popular in India as well as globally. However, similar is not the case with the fearless and daring freedom fighter of Assam, Birangana Kanaklata, whose contribution to the Indian Independence Movement wasn’t in any way meager. She had boldly faced the bullets of the police during the freedom struggle of India in 1942 and laid down her life for the country”, Mudoi said.

Urmila Mahanta in 'Purab Ki Awaz'

“We are making an honest attempt from our end to make everyone aware about this brave heart from Assam by depicting her life and supreme sacrifice on celluloid. We feel extremely privileged to salute and celebrate the spirit of this great freedom fighter”, Mudoi, who has also penned the story ans screenplay, added.

The film with it’s share of history, truth and fiction, rolled into one, depicts the story of two women belonging to two generations in two separate ‘freedom’ movements, by expressing their protesting voices against insecurity, betrayal and oppression. The film is seen through the eyes of a young Assamese girl who accidentally stumbles into Kanaklata’s village and rediscovers the life-story of this forgotten fighter.

Debashis Barthakur and Urmila Mahanta in a scene from the bilingual

A hardnosed terrorist activist, Urmila experiences a self-realisation after knowing about the life stories and struggles of freedom fighter Kanaklata, with whom she finds a lot of similarities. Like Kanaklata, Urmila too possesses qualities of compassion, valor, courage and boldness in abundance. Both were fuelled by similar aims albeit with a difference. Like Kanaklata, Urmila too is fighting for independence, but this is where the similarity ends. The philosophy and motive behind their struggles were completely different as they were triggered by different ideologies and objectives. Kanaklata’s freedom struggle was against the tyranny of the British rule, and did not want Assam to be a separate nation. She not only fought for the country’s independence but also became a martyr. On the contrary, Urmila was fighting against the nation, and demanded a separate country.

Hailing from a harsh social background, Kanaklata rose above circumstances through grit and determination to fight for the country’s freedom against the British oppressors. Her valor and audacity gave hope to millions of Assamese, all of whom have to live through a number of turbulent years.

The major roles in the bilingual are played by Nipon Goswami, Urmila Mahanta, Debashis Barthakur, Monimala, Tapan Sarma, Papori Bora, Ashrumoni, child artistes Rodali, Akshita and Jaffry, etc.

A scene from 'Purab Ki Awaz'

The press meet at the Guwahati Press Club was graced by several dignitaries including distinguished litterateur and former president, Asam Sahitya Sabha, Kanaksen Deka, MP RP Sarma, veteran freedom fighter Hema Bharali, eminent journalist Haider Hussain, among others. Speaking on the occasion, the 96-year-old freedom fighter, Hema Bharali said that the new generation must imbibe the spirit of sacrifice from freedom fighters like Kanaklata. RP Sarma has assured of all possible help and cooperation towards the release of the bilingual, more precisely the Hindi version ‘Purab Ki Awaz’ at the national level. He is hopeful that the Hindi version will attract the attention of people from all over the country. Everyone heaped praise on the filmmakers, eminent director Chandra Mudoi and producer Loknath Deka for undertaking such a bilingual project. They have made it without compromising production values. Mudoi has made 12 successful films till date, including hit films like ‘Agnigarh’, ‘Ronangini’, ‘Maghot Mamonir Biya’, ‘Suren Churor Putek’, ‘Ujanir Dojoni Gabharu’, ‘Bakor Putek’, etc. For producer Loknath Deka, however, this is his maiden venture under LPKG Production. He has produced and directed TV serials like ‘Prachir Kiyo Sristi Hoisil’, ‘Ferengadow’, ‘Abuj Morom’, etc.

The film’s chief assistant director is Dipak Roy, assistant director Shapnajit Borkakati, music direction by Dr Hitesh Baruah, Ajay Phukan and Tapan Kakati, lyricists cinematography by Naba Kumar Das, editing by Syamal Das, make-up by Biswa and Dhan, production controller Khargeswar Bora.

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