Assamese Documentary Veerangana Screened At IFFI 52

Story Highlights
  • On 52nd International Film Festival of India Assamese documentary ‘Veerangana’ was screened.
  • The documentary is a team of 16 women police personnel to get trained in ‘Silent Drill’.
  • ‘Veerangana’ has been produced and directed by Kishore Kalita.

Goa: The Assamese documentary ‘Veerangana,’ about the country’s first female commando team, was exhibited on the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on November 21st. This all-female commando team, which became a prominent role model for girls in Assam and the northeast, was founded with the assistance of Tamil Nadu training. Veerangana (meaning “women warriors” in Assamese) was the brainchild of the state’s current director-general of police, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, who wanted to establish a strong female police force in 2012 to combat the state’s escalating crime against women. They decided to set up Veerangana and send a team of 16 women police personnel from Assam to Tamil Nadu to get trained in ‘Silent Drill’, a unique silent precision exhibition drill in handling a rifle.

The unit’s goal is to demonstrate the Marine Corps’ exceptional discipline and professionalism. They practise with M1 Garand rifles that weigh around 5 kg and incorporate rifle spins and tosses. The drill is carried out without the use of any vocal commands, and the guns are handled with clinical precision. The only sound heard throughout the whole exhibition practice is the unit members’ leather-gloved hands slapping the guns. The women were also taught in motorbike riding, martial arts, and how to handle lethal and non-fatal weapons, in addition to this exceptional quiet drill.

Veerangana,’ a 21-minute documentary, was produced and directed by Kishore Kalita, a Guwahati high court counsel. In the documentary, IPS officials like Mahanta and Satyaraj Hazarika, who was a Commandant at Batallion Training Camp on Dergaon, Assam at the time, as well as some members of the unit, were interviewed. The female officials talk about how the unit brought out strength in them that they didn’t realise they had. They also discussed the opportunities that this provided for them. The documentary has bagged the Best Documentary award in the recent Cochin International Short Film Awards.

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