A Woman’s fight that changed Odisha Politics forever“
Kanccha Lannka, the leading entertainment app in Odisha, is set to create a significant impact with its latest offering – the Odia web series, Barang 1999. Directed by the talented Odia filmmaker, Ajay Padhi, this seven-episode saga on the OTT platform not only guarantees enthralling entertainment but also delves deep into the exploration of political struggles and the resilient spirit of women.
Barang 1999 transcends the conventional boundaries of a web series; it emerges as a narrative pulsating with empowerment, justice, and the indomitable spirit of women. The poignant political drama intricately traces the compelling story of Amrita Padhi, a woman who stands up against the powerful figures within the system. Confronting injustice within her own family and betrayed by those entrusted with upholding justice, Amrita embarks on a tireless battle against all odds, fueled by hope and a resolve stronger than steel. In the intricate web of politics, Amrita stands tall as a woman in a man’s world, becoming not just a seeker of personal justice but a catalyst for transformation. The entanglement of a woman’s fight for justice in an intense political war between rivals unfolds as a captivating story that needs to be witnessed to be believed.
The series features Supriya Nayak, the latest sensation of Odia Cinema, in the lead role, alongside nationally-acclaimed Odia artists including the recently-appointed director of NSD and Bollywood actor Chittaranjan Tripathy, as well as the rising Bollywood star Sukumar Tudu. The ensemble cast also includes Chandan Mohanty, Asit Patra, Nishant Majithia, Bhaswati Basu, KP, Somen Pujari, Bhupati Tripathy, and others.
Crafted by veteran journalist Dilip Bisoi and written by Saroj Mohapatra, Barang 1999 boasts eloquent dialogues by Nishant Majithia. The series sets a benchmark in production values in Odisha, with outstanding camera work by Mumbai-based Yudhisthir Behera and meticulous editing by Rashmi Ranjan.
In reflecting on the ambitious project, director Ajay Padhi shared, “Barang 1999 was nothing short of a challenge, given the vast canvas and compelling storyline. Recreating the 90s was both exciting and tough, but the team managed to excel. I hope viewers enjoy the series as much as we did in making it.”
Expressing enthusiasm, Akshay Parija, Co-Founder, and Chairman of Kanccha Lannka, stated, “We are super excited to present a concept that is not only entertaining but also inspirational. Barang 1999 is not just one woman’s story; it is a saga of women everywhere who have taken a stand against the system to seek justice. This marks Odisha’s first and biggest political thriller, and we hope viewers embrace it.”
This ambitious web series is currently available for streaming on Kanccha Lannka, accessible through various platforms such as Google Play Store, Apple Store, the website, and Super Apps like Jio TV, Airtel Xtreme, OTT Play, Play Box, and many more. The widespread availability aims to ensure that audiences across diverse platforms can immerse themselves in the gripping narrative and high production values that Barang 1999 promises.
As viewers embark on this cinematic journey, they are not merely consuming entertainment; they are becoming part of a movement – a movement that resonates with the struggles, triumphs, and indomitable spirit of women. Barang 1999 stands as a testament to the power of storytelling, bringing forth narratives that inspire, challenge, and transform perspectives. In the heart of Odisha’s cultural and cinematic landscape, Kanccha Lannka emerges as a trailblazer, steering the narrative towards stories that not only entertain but also leave a lasting impact on the collective consciousness.
Although tagged as a fictional offering, one cannot help but draw parallels with the sensational Barang gang-rape case of 1999, that had created a political turmoil in the state, resulting in the resignation of then Chief Minister JB Patnaik. The victim was sexually assaulted at gunpoint for nearly four hours on January 9, 1999, after the car she was in with a journalist friend was forcibly stopped. She had lodged a molestation case against former Advocate General Indrajit Ray a few weeks before the incident and accused him and CM Patnaik of having orchestrated the gang rape on her. While two of the three accused of the heinous act were arrested back then, the main accused, Bibekananda Biswal alias Bibhan was nabbed 22 years later.What will surprise the audience is a bitter fight between CM Pattnaik and his deputy Basant Biswal spanning over five years and how this gruesome sexual assault case was used by both the Politicians to further their political interests.
Back in 1995, Congress won state assembly elections in Odisha, an election which was fiercely fought under the active leadership of Basant Biswal an old time protégé of veteran congress leader JB Pattnaik who was the CM of Odisha from 1980-90. Obviously, Biswal was all set to become the CM in 1995, but to his surprise and shock, Congress high command decided to bring Patnaik back from his hibernation and make him the CM again thru back door entry. This did not go well with Biswal and his supporters and he was in a state of revolt. After a series of back room negotiations, Biswal accepted the post of Dy CM with an assurance that half way into the term, Pattnaik would resign and Biswal be made CM. But Patnaik, with his strong connect with Party high command in Delhi, managed to stay on as CM without passing on the mantle to Biswal in 1997 as promised. Biswal was fuming with a sense of betrayal and was waiting for an opportunity to revenge.
Around the same time, Anjana Mishra, an aspiring, educated & smart lady having severe marital conflict with her husband was running from pillar to post for justice. Her husband termed her as mentally sick and pushed into a Mental Hospital and refused to bring her back home even after the Doctors certified her as normal. Her father also refused to keep her at home due to attached social stigma. While staying in a Shelter home, Anjana was continuing her fight for justice thru Police, Press and Courts. During the process, the then Advocate General of Odisha Indrajit Ray had an eye on her while pretending to help her in legal process. One day Ray attempted a rape on her but she not only escaped but filed an FIR against Ray and took the matter to media. Ray being very to close to CM Patnaik was given protection. As the pressure mounted, Patnaik, Ray and the gang tried all tricks in the book (money, allurements, harassments, threats, attacks and what not) basically to silence her and withdraw the FIR against Ray. Situation turned ugly and the events unfolded one after other which led to the gruesome gang rape in January 1999.
Biswal used this as an opportunity to up the ante against Patnaik thru media, NGO, public and political pressure. The situation went beyond control where Patnaik had to resign in February 1999. But he used his extremely strong connect with the high command in Delhi to ensure that Biswal is not given the CM post and it went to another not so high profile person.