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 patriotic stage play Veeragandham will be staged at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium. Veeragandham is a play about Kanneganti Hanumanthu, the leader of the famous Pullari rebellion, who ignited the people of Palnadu to revolt against the Britishers.
Based on Gandhiji's principles, he lead a peaceful revolt by not paying the taxes to the East India Company. To supress the revolution, the Britishers killed Hanumanthu at a young age of about 30, by back-stabbing him. The play is directed by K Shantaram, and is being staged by Praja Natya Mandali, Guntur.
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.