Revisiting All India Progressive Writers’ Association (AIPWA) and Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), 1930s, 194

Home/ Revisiting All India Progressive Writers’ Association (AIPWA) and Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), 1930s, 194
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSOL2EN3504

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon Semester 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Diamond Oberoi Vahali

Email of course coordinator: diamond[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Interest in literature, history, cinema, music, culture and politics

Aim: This course introduces students to the All India Progressive Writers Association and Indian People’s Theatre Association, the two most significant movements in literature in 1930s and 1940s. The objective of the course is to familiarize the students to the socio-political concerns, debates and dissent existing in literature in India from 1930s to 1950s within the broader context of nationalism and the formation of new India.

The course is an interdisciplinary course, it seeks to situate literature within the context of cinema and theatre movements prevalent in India in 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. It also links literature, theatre and cinema to the larger debates around nation building and the formation of new India. This course is the first part and the discussions initiated here will be continued in the second part of the course.

Course Outcomes:Students opting for this course will develop a comprehensive understanding of the history of the Indian cultural scenario in the first half of the twentieth century.

  1. They will be able to understand the connection between art, literature, theatre and cinema and its intervention in the active processes that led to the decolonization of the Indian psyche in the context of culture.
  2. They will understand the meaning of engaged scholarship as the course assessment demands that they engage with a community of people.
  3. They will learn the art of conducting interviews and will develop the skills related to reading and writing on fiction and poetry.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module I

The first module will constitute of several readings that led to the formation of the Progressive Writer’s Association and Indian People’s Theatre Association. The readings in this module will mainly be from the original documents/ Manifestos of IPTA and AIPWA these readings will be contextualized within several other significant radical literary thought and writings written by cultural activists across several emerging new nations during the early twentieth century.

Module II

second module will focus on the literature written by the writers who affiliated themselves with the AIPWA. This module will mainly concentrate on the fiction written by these writers.

Sajjad Zaheer,, “Dulari”, “Jannat Ki Basharat” and other stories included in Angarey, London Ki Ak Raat,

Rasheed Jahan, “That One” (“Who”), “A Visit to Delhi” (“Delli ke Sahir”)

Ismat Chughtai, “Chhoti Ka Jora”, “Lihaf”, Gharam Hawa

Saadat Hasan Manto, “Mozil”, “Thanda Ghosh”

Mulk Raj Anand , “Old Bapu”, The Untouchable

Razia Sajjad Zaheer, “Low Born” (“Neech”)

Premchand, “The Path to Hell”

Rajinder Singh Bedi, “Lajwanti”

Krishan Chander, Ann Detta

Module III

This module will focus on the poems written by writers associated with both the AIPWA and the IPTA

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, “My Fellowmen, My Friend”, “Dawn of Freedom”, “This Harvest of Hope”, “Bury me under your Pavements”, “Dedication” (“Intizab”), “We will see” (“Hum Dekhege”)

Ali Sardar Jafri, “Raj Neeraj” and other poems

Poems by Sajjad Zaheer

Selected works of Suryakant Tripathi (Nirala)

Selected works of Shamsher Bahadur

Selected poems by Sahir Ludhianvi

Majaz, Selected poems

Kazi Nazrul Islam,,‘Helmsmen, Beware’ and other poems

Jyotiribndra Moitra, ‘Many Voices and One’, Navajibaner Gan, Madhubanishir Goli

Salil Chaudhary, Protest songs and music

Assessment Details with weights: The assessment for the course may include class presentations, term paper, mid-term exam and end-term exam. The assessment will ensure an engagement with the essence of the course, for this purpose the students will be expected to interview people from under privileged backgrounds and to express their insights through any form of a creative expression for part I of the course.

Tentative Assessment schedule with details of weightage: (Part I)



Date/period in which Assessment will take place



Class participation

Throughout the semester



Interview and Process Paper

Mid semester



Research and a reflective piece on the process of research

Throughout the semester/ submission is End Semester



Class test/Portfolio/creative document

End semester



Reading List: Included within the modules


Other writers/poets/ whose works may be included are:

Ahmed Ali, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Ahmad Faraz, Habib Jalib, Fehmida Riyaz, Kishwar Naheed, Anil D’silva, Hajrah Begum, Mahmuduzzafar, Shri Shri, Umashankar Joshi, Gurbaksh Singh, Firaf Gorakhpuri, Josh Malihabadi, Amrita Pritam, Sukanto Bhattacharya, Bishnu Dey, Ram Bilas Sharma, Ageyaya and Muktibodh