Well-known theater artist, scholar and IPTA National President Ranbir Singh passes away

Ranbir Singh, veteran theater artist, well-known writer and historian of the country, passed away on Tuesday in Jaipur. He was 93

Well-known theater artist, scholar and IPTA National President Ranbir Singh passes away
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NH Web Desk

Ranbir Singh, veteran theater artist, well-known writer and historian of the country, passed away on Tuesday in Jaipur. He was 93. He had a complicated angioplasty just four days ago at the Rajasthan Hospital in Jaipur. Theatre and film artists and intellectuals across the country have expressed grief on his death.

Born on July 7, 1929 in Dundlod, Rajasthan, Ranbir Singh did his BA in 1945 from Cambridge University after his early education from Mayo College. Ranbir Singh had a keen interest in theatre and films right from the beginning. In 1949, he broke ties with his royal family background and moved to Mumbai where he worked with Ashok Kumar and Beena in BR Chopra's 'Sholay' and with Shekhar and Meena Kumari in 'Chandni Chowk'.

In 1953, he returned to Jaipur and started the Jaipur Theater Group. Under this group, he directed several plays and also handled acting and lighting arrangements. In 1959, he moved to Delhi at the invitation of Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay, where under her patronage he founded the Bharatiya Natya Sangh, which was affiliated to the International Theater Institute.

During this time he worked in many plays with the 'Yaatrik Theatre Group'.

Ranbir Singh also played important roles in several TV serials, including 'Mulla Nasruddin' directed by Amaal Allana, 'Gulaal' directed by Anurag Kashyap and 'Tipu Sultan Ki Talwar' directed by Sanjay Khan.

Apart from acting and directing, he wrote many plays whose thousands of performances had a strong impact on the people's mind. Prominent among these plays are: 'Paase', 'Hi Mera Dil', 'Sarai Ki Maalkin', 'Gulfam', 'Mukhouton Ki Zindagi', 'Mirza Saheb', 'Amritjal', 'Tanhai Ki Raat'.


He adapted many foreign plays for the Indian stage. He was a keen scholar of history. He wrote many books on the history of theatre which give a valuable insight into the multifarious and rich cultural heritage of our country. Some of his important books are: 'Wajid Ali Shah', Parsi Rangmanch Ka Itihas', 'Inder Sabha', Sanskrit Natak Ka Itihas'.

He was also a cultural advisor to Mauritius and vice-president of the Rajasthan Sangeet Akademi. For enriching theatre in India and with the purpose of taking the rich Indian tradition of theatre to the world, he visited many countries like Russia, Germany, France, England, Nepal etc.

Association with IPTA (Indian People's Theatre Association- Jan Natya Manch)

In 1984, when IPTA was being restructured, Ranbir Singh joined the Association and attended the National Convention held in Agra in 1985. He was elected Vice President at the National Convention in Hyderabad in 1986 and National President in 2012 after the death of AK Hangal.

He used to take part in every event and conference of IPTA with zeal and enthusiasm. Under his guidance activities of IPTA continued to grow. He considered it necessary that new plays and experiments are constantly performed on stage.

The National Committee of IPTA has paid heartfelt tributes on the passing away of this vibrant theatre activist and scholar. Rakesh, National General Secretary of IPTA said that not only Hindi but Indian theater and cultural world has lost a true friend. Progressive Writers Association, Janvadi Lekhak Sangh, Jan Sanskriti Manch and well-known litterateurs, intellectuals including Naresh Saxena, Raj Bisaria, Virendra Yadav, Akhilesh, Vinod Das, Arun Kamal, Surya Mohan Kulshrestha, Awadhesh Preet, Santosh Dixit, Om Thanvi, Pallav, Madan Kashyap paid tributes to Ranbir Singh.

Bihar IPTA General Secretary Tanveer Akhtar said that with Ranbir Singh's demise, the country has lost a thespian who constantly worked for nurturing the great tradition of Parsi Theatre. Bihar IPTA working president Sitaram Singh said that Ranbir Singh was rich in versatility. He presented the IPTA movement prominently in national and international forums

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Published: 23 Aug 2022, 5:00 PM