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 stage play Satya Vaggeyam is being staged at the Ravindra Bharati auditorium. The play Satya Vaggeyam is about Garimella Satyanarayana, a great nationalist who influenced and mobilized Andhra against the British with his patriotic songs and writings.
He was jailed several times by the British for his revolutionary songs. Born in a poor Brahmin family, Garimella Satyanarayana was identified as a "Tiger Poet" for his famous song Maakoddhi Tella Doratanamu (we don't need this white rule). This song was a household freedom rhyme in all four corners of Andhra in those days.
In addition, his works include Swaraajya Geetamulu (1921), Harijana Paatalu (1923), Khandakaavyalu, Baalageetaalu (1926), and a translation Tallikota from Kannada. Although he was one of the greatest political poets of Andhra nation and devoted everything to the freedom movement, he died destitute on December 18, 1952, after spending several years in poverty.
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 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.