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 second day, a revolutionary street play Komaram Bheem is being staged at the lawns of the Ravindra Bharati.
Komaram Bheem fought for the girijans' rights against the atrocities of the Nizams and the British rulers. During the Nizam's rule, the tribals did not have any right to the produce of their lands, neither to enjoy nor sell. Their leader Komaram Bheem started an army and fought for land rights of the tribals. He lost his life during this struggle but his protest brought home to the Nizam and later the Government of India the need to give the tribals their rights.
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.