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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.

IPTA in West Bengal

At present IPTA West Bengal is a running organisation led by IPTA West Bengal State Committee. The Secretary is Sisir Sen, President Sri Hiren Bhattacharjee, Asst. Secretary Sri Gora Ghosh and Sri Ashim Bandyopadhay. There are many cultural personalities like Shakti Bandyopadhyay, Bablu Dasgupta, Pijus Sarkar, Kankan Bhattacharjee, Sankar Mukherjee, Hiranmoy Ghosal, Tapan Hazra, Basudeb Dasgupta, Suvendu Maity, Abhoy Dasgupta, Ratna Bhattacharjee etc. There are 19 District Committees under this organisation. No. of Artist members 7000 approx. IPTA W B has been reorganised in its 3rd conference held on 1967 at Kolkata Bagbazar reading room Library. Hundreds of dramas have been produced still today since 1967. Such as Bis e june by Biru Mukhopadhyay, Bastav Sastra and Buno Hans by Hiren Bhatacharjee, Haraner Nat Jamai by Sisir Sen, Spartakas and Fulwali by Basudeb Basu, Fatik chander Swapnaguli, Hanadaar, Judhistir er Narak Darsan, Haripadar Panja Larai (Street Drama) by Ashim Bandyopadhyay. Abelay Amritakatha, Jaban Bandi (Street Drama), Chhoto Bakulpurer jatri, Aaj O Itihaas, Tarapadar Maa, Ganpat Kahar, by Sudip Sarkar. Light House by jayanta Chakraborty. Ramdhanu, Aami Krishna, Virus, Ananta Yatra by Tapan Hazra etc.

IPTA in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh

IPTA Raigarh was established in 1982 during the first state conference of IPTA which was organized by the Raigarh unit in 1982. Since then Raigarh unit has been active and practicing theatre in this small district of Chattisgarh (earlier Madhya Pradesh). In 1994, when the Golden Jubilee of IPTA was celebrated nationwide, this unit decided to celebrate the Golden Jubilee by organizing a five day theatre festival during the month of December. Although meant to be a one-off event, it was very well received and later on, it was decided to continue this as an annual event. This is how the National Theatre Festival was born and conceived. The same year IPTA was reorganized and it spread its activities, started imparting training and updating artists by means of organizing theatre workshops every year for youth as well as for children. Since 1995, theatre stalwarts like Arun Pandey, Sanjay Upadhyay, Suman Kumar, Gautam Mazumdar, Devendra Raj Ankur, Ranjeet Kapoor, Akhilesh Khanna, Neeraj Wahal, Praveen Gunjan & Anjana Puri have conducted workshops and trained our artists. Besides organizing theatre workshops and festivals, IPTA Raigarh started participating in various festivals to showcase their productions in different cities like Delhi, Allahabad, Jabalpur, Raipur, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Patna, Gaya, Sagar, Ratlam among the few. In 2001, IPTA Raigarh registered itself as ‘IPTA Center for Cultural Resources and Training’ with the Registrar of firms & societies, Government of India. “IPTA Center for cultural resources & training” has emerged as one of the pro-active theatre groups in Chattisgarh State. Artistes of the group, including child artistes, have acted in a film ”Chutakan Ki Mahabharat” produced by Children’s Film Society Of India and Directed by Sankalp Meshram, which has bagged the National Award for the Best Children’s Film in 2005, conferred by the Government of India. IPTA Raigarh also publishes its annual Magazine “Rankarm” which is endorsed by Kendriya Hindi Nideshalaya and is being distributed throughout the country with the help of the same. This magazine has been published annually since 2003.