Indian People's Theatre Association

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IPTA was formed during an All India People’s Theatre Conference held in Bombay on 26th May, 1943 at Marwari Vidyalaya, Bombay. The name People’s Theatre was suggested by the scientist, Homi Jehangir Bhabha. The first General Secretary of the IPTA was Anil de Silva, a vibrant artist from Sri Lanka and trade unionist, N.M. Joshi was its first President. Benoy Roy, K.T. Chandy, Mama Varerkar, K.A. Abbas, Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Dr Rashid Jehan, S.A. Dange, Shambhu Mitra, Bishnu Dey, Rajendra Raghuvanshi and others were among those who were elected to the executive and as office-bearers. The leading spirit behind the setting up of the IPTA was the CPI’s general secretary at the time, P.C. Joshi. Numerous memoirs written by prominent artists who became part of the IPTA, including those who left it later, talk about the role played by Joshi in conceptualising the idea of a cultural front in India.

For Further Reading:

Sumangala Damodaran (2014) Music and Resistance: The tradition of the Indian People’s Theatre Association in the 1940s and 1950s.