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 The Youth is being staged on the lawns of Ravindra Bharati. The play, directed by K Shantaram and being staged by the Praja Natya Mandali of the Krishna district, is about Shahid Bhagat Singh and his friends who were hanged by the Britishers at a young age.
Bhagat Singh was only 24 years of age when he was hanged along with his friends Rajguru and Sukhdev, for throwing a crude bomb at the Legislative Assembly in which the Britishers were to pass two bills, which were likely to harm the country's interests. The sacrifice and patriotism of Bhagat Singh became an inspiration for many youth at that time who wanted to see India independent. Even today, his memory continues to inspire the youth, and many poems and songs have been written about his courage and undying patriotism.
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.