Praja Natya Mandali, on the occasion of the 150th year of the 1st freedom struggle movement, coinciding with the 60th year of India's independence and Shahid Bhagat Singh's 100th birth anniversary, is organising the 1857 Sangrama Sphoorthi Utsavalu from 1st to 3rd August, at the Ravindra Bharati. To commemorate the ignition of the first revolutionary freedom struggle movement, three patriotic stage plays and four revolutionary street plays will be staged during the 3-day festival.
Today, the third and final day, a revolutionary street play called Jai Telangana is being staged at the lawns of Ravindra Bharati. The play, directed by R Ramesh and is being staged by Praja Natya Mandali of Nalgonda, is about the revolt against the Nizam rule.
During the rule of the Nizams, the poor farmers of Telangana used to be exploited by the muslim money lenders. Their land used to be snatched after they were made unable to repay the loans given by the money-lenders. The revolt, which started in Karimnagar, spread to all the 3,000 villages of the 9 districts of Telangana. The farmers fought against the Nizams and more than 4,000 of them laid down their lives.
Praja Natya Mandali was formed in 1943, to oppose monarchy, colonisation and fascism. Since then, it has been adopting peaceful methods to demonstrate against agricultural famine, slavery, the problems of the poor and helpless farmers, and landlord atrocities against farmers. All these are highlighted by way of street plays, folk songs and dances, and poems.
Today, the association has more than 20,000 artistes from 1,140 troupes, including poets Varavara Rao and Gaddar. It is the biggest troupe of performing artistes in the country and probably the world. At present, it is concentrating on worker problems, farmer suicides, coolie wages, atrocities against women, child labor, caste division and rural health.
Please contact R Ramesh, General Secretary of the Hyderabad wing of Praja Natya Mandali, at 2762-6246/94900-98059 for further details.