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Indian People's Theatre Association

Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) was an association of leftist theatre-artists under the Left parties. Although Its goal was to bring cultural awakening among the people of India.[1] It was the cultural wing of the Communist Party of India


Some of the initial members of the groups were Prithviraj Kapoor, Bijon Bhattacharya, Ritwik Ghatak, Utpal Dutt, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Salil Chowdhury, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Jyotirindra Moitra, Niranjan Singh Maan, S. Tera Singh Chan, Jagdish Faryadi, Khalili Faryadi, Rajendra Raghuvanshi Safdar Mir etc. The group was formed in 1942, in the background of the Second World War, with Bengal famine of 1943 and starvation deaths in India on the one hand and repression by the colonial masters in the wake of the Quit India Movement and the aggression by the fascist powers on the Soviet Union on the other. All India People's Theatre Conference was held in Mumbai in 1943 where the group presented its idea and objective of representing the crisis of the time through the medium of theatre and to help people understand their rights and duties. This conference led to the formation of committees of IPTA across India. The movement hit not only theatres, but also cinema and music in Indian languages.

Nabanna {{Main|Nabanna (play)}} [[Image:Shobha sen in nabanna.jpg|thumb|left|[[Shobha Sen]] in Nabanna?, 1944]] The most important of the dramas were Nabanna? (Harvest). Nabanna is a folk-cultural festival of Bengal? to celebrate the harvest. This Bengali? drama, written by Bijon Bhattacharya and directed by Sombhu Mitra, portrayed the evils of the Bengal famine of 1943? and the alleged indifference of the British? rulers, as also of the richer strata of Indian society towards the plight of the millions dying from the famine.

==Other dramas and films== Nava Jiboner Gaan (Song of New of Life) by Jyotirindra Moitra? and the film Dharti Ke Lal (Children of the Earth) by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas? followed Nabanna in addressing the needs of the people. These performances were characteristic for their vivid, stark portrayal of the suffering of the masses. Similar productions were carried out all over India, like Desha Sathi in Marathi? which was about the attack on the Soviet Union by Nazi? Germany?; Prarambham in Telugu?; and Zubeida directed by Balraj Sahni? and based on the story of a Muslim girl from Malabar?. Manikuntala Sen?, the fireband woman of left politics acted in this play along with Gopal Halder?, who later became an educationist.

[[File:Muktibodh Rashtriya Natya Samaroh.jpg|thumb|Natya Samaroh by IPTA, Chhattisgarh, India]]