Making Democratic Art

In 1942, artists who had been inspired by the freedom movement, by the anti-fascist struggle and by the sweep of Communism formed the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA). Among their serried ranks were Prithviraj Kapoor, Ravi Shankar, Utpal Dutt, Ritwik Ghatak and so many more familiar and unfamiliar names, whose talents built up the various culture industries of Independent India. They wanted to make art that was socially relevant and that was in some way an adjutant to the freedom movement. The Bengal Famine of 1943 provided them with the spur.