When one right, the right to vote, changed everything for a country, the role of art turned out to be the one to nurture the conscience of society to know the importance of that political right.
The Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA) has been fulfilling that role ever since Independence, said Kanhaiya Kumar, member of the Communist Party of India national council, in Kozhikode on Saturday. Mr. Kumar was delivering the keynote address at the Kaifi Azmi birth centenary celebrations organised as part of the national council meeting of IPTA.
Admitting that he was part of IPTA as a child and had acted in a play directed by Ranbir Singh, president of IPTA, Mr. Kumar recalled the role of the association in the freedom movement and afterwards. After Independence, the role of IPTA was to find loopholes in the system, so as to make it a better and equal society, he said, pointing out that poet Kaifi Azmi shared the spirit of IPTA in all respects.
Those who were involved in dividing India have now captured power. Now, they are using the tactics of diverting India, Mr. Kumar said, adding that the common mans attention was being diverted from basic issues. An ardent reader of Kaifi Azmi, he concluded by reciting Doosra Wanwaas, one of the poets controversial poems.
Former parliamentarian M.P. Abdussamad Samadani released the book Kaifi Azmi - Life, Views and Art by handing it over to P.K. Medini, a singer of yesteryears. He recalled the philosophical depths of the works of Azmi, even his film songs and cinema dialogues.
Earlier, IPTA president Ranbir Singh opened the event, while vice president T.V. Balan presided over the function.
Benoy Vishwam, MP, opened the national council meeting of IPTA in the morning. Little IPTA Childrens Theatre will stage Uthuppante Kinar at 10 a.m. on Sunday.