Praja Natya Mandali, on the occasion of the 150th year of 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 Bharathi. 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 first day, a revolutionary street play Manya Poratam is being staged at the lawns of the Ravindra Bharathi. The play is about the great icon of the early period of the freedom struggle, Alluri Seetarama Raju.
Born on 4th July, 1897, in a renowned Kshatriya clan, Alluri fought against the mighty British war machine, leading tribesmen of Andhra Pradesh with old traditional war weaponry, and sacrificed his life, true to his clan's reputation, in the battle field. The play is directed by K Shantaram and is being staged by Praja Natya Mandali, West Godavari.
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, 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.