“Dangerous” Choreopolitics of Labouring Bodies: Biopolitics and Choreopolitics in Conflict in the Act of Jana Natya Mandali in India
Jana Natya Mandali (People’s Theatre Troupe; henceforth, JNM) was a popular revolutionary cultural organization linked to the banned Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War, now the Communist Party of India (Maoist), also known as the Maoists or the Naxalites. After the demise of the people’s theatre movement in India led by the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) by the 1960s, JNM was one of the few political theatre organizations in India which had a widespread reach and influence across diverse social sections. The organization flourishes under the dynamic leadership of Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar. What D. Venkat Rao terms the “radical heterogeneity” of Gaddar and JNM’s audience included landless laborers, farmers, students, adivasis and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), making it popular across the classes and the various sections of the communities.