March 15, 2007

IPTA: The People Theatre Group

The form of history which a country generally administer to the citizens is mainly political history. However, there is a form of history, which is without politics. Such a history has two main genre viz. Social history and economic history. The sources of such histories are bit different from the usual form of sources. On feature is common among such sources. They are the form of the activities of the people without the support of the government or the motivating factor behind such activities of the people are the people themselves.

During the freedom struggle of India, it was not only the political parties like Congress party, Unionist Party, Muslim League, Communist groups et al, which undertook the awareness and mobilization among the people. The writers association and Indian People’s Theatre Association were such responses during the freedom struggle of India were not political in nature as such but they were goaded to participate in the freedom struggle under the urge of national spirit. After the Independence they continued with their existence. They are working for the uplifting the society and bringing out the vices of the society through the medium of performing arts.

Indian People’s Theater Association is quite active and pullulating with life. They have their own website. They have given a brief history of the origin of Indian People’s Theatre Association. Apart from that they have also given profile of the present generation befittingly nurtured by pioneers of the association. However, there is dominance of one group among them. Even then, such activities and their records are essential to understand the social, socio-religious and socio-economic perception of the contemporary times. It is being done through the literature. However, through the performing art, they touch the perception of the society in a more effective manner. No doubt, the medium of cinema and television are more effective because of the technological advances and reach. But the people of theatre are more sensitive and responsive to issues which the general public face in day to day life. The people associated with the theater with such issues which are definitely a major raw data for the historians and even for the administration.

The introduction to the IPTA activities is quite portent with meaning and tells about the matter with they deal and the goal which they try to achieve. The following lines are taken \ from the site itself.

"The Indian People's Theatre Association was formed during the Quit India Movement in 1942. Upon its formal inauguration in 1943-44, IPTA took upon itself the challenge to bring theatre to the people with the objective of building awareness about social responsibility and national integration. IPTA soon became a movement and swept the length and breadth of India with its socialistic and nationalistic fervour."

Apart from the added information, the schedule of regular activity, which constitutes of regular staging of the plays, is displayed on the main page of the site. There is additional links on poetry, gallery and reviews. The quantity of information and write ups are not substantial in nature but they can be used to form a contour of the social perception of the Indians in present day scenario. The literary figures like Javed Akhtar, Santosh Bajpai etc are associated with the organization. It seems that they have not given attention to provide good additional information on the site. They could enrich this site by providing authentic information about the past days and make it more useful for the people who can be benefited from them. May be, they are not yet taking cyber space more seriously. It is hoped that when they are already here on the cyberspace, they may come up with good essays on different aspect of the Indian society as well as information which has historic value.

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