People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 27, 2002
17th RAJASTHAN STATE CONFERENCE
Build A Strong Party,
Towards Third Alternative
THE seventeenth Rajasthan state conference of the CPI (M) was held in the historic city of Udaipur on December 22, 23, 24. A massive rally was organised before the conference, in which thousands of activists from far-flung villages of the state as well as from the Udaipur city, took part. The rally, a virtual sea of red flags, started from Mohta Garden near the Chetak Circle, at around 12 noon. As the procession marched through the city, the skies echoed with " Inquilab zindabad" and slogans against the anti-people policies of the state and the central government. Participation of a large number of women and adivasis dressed in traditional attire and carrying their bows and arrows, made the procession even more impressive. It was an interesting sight to watch an adivasi youth dressed as Maharana Pratap atop a horse.
As the main speaker addressing the rally, Politbureau member Prakash Karat lambasted the economic policies being implemented in the country under pressure of America and WTO, with the policies of the NDA government being formulated not in Delhi but in Washington. In the past one year alone, these policies had not only caused a loss of over two thousand crore rupees to farmers, but even in the developed states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab, the situation had become so bad that farmers were being driven to suicide.
For the past three years Rajasthan has been reeling under a severe drought and the people of the state have been facing starvation, while at the same time about 6.5 crore tonnes of foodgrains have been rotting in the government godowns. That the BJP is immensely in love with domestic corporates and MNCs, observed Karat, is amply depicted by the fact even during its brief 13 day rule the BJP had found time to guarantee a 16 per cent profit to Enron. Today, Enron has gone bankrupt and the Mahrashtra State Electricity Corporation is unable to buy electricity from Dhabol Power Company, as it has priced at Rs 7.80 per unit.
Strongly denouncing the terrorist attack on parliament, Karat said that instead taking action against the terrorists, the government was complaining to George Bush, and accused the central government of trying to divert the attention of the people by creating a communal frenzy. Further, the administration, army, educational institutions and even the Municipal Corporations were being saffronised. In Rajasthan too, the problems faced by the adivasis were a result of the policies of privatisation, globalisation and liberalisation.
Also addressing the rally, MP and CPI (M) secretariat member Hannan Mollah made a thorough exposure of the communal character of the BJP. On the contrary, the CPI (M) was preparing its national congress focussing attention on the problems of the people. State Party secretary Hari Ram Chauhan, CITU president Hetram Beniwal, JMS Secretary Durga Swami, and MLA Amra Ram were among the other prominent speakers to address the rally.
After the hoisting and salute to the flag by Party secretary Hari Ram Chauhan and floral tributes by delegates at the martyr's column, to conduct the proceedings of the conference a Presidium comprising Hetram Beniwal, Narayan Manat and Sumitra, was elected.
Called on to inaugurate the conference, in his one and a half hour speech Prakash Karat dwelt at length on the international and national situation, whilst earlier the US had imposed its policies on India and other countries, under the slogan of fighting Communism; now the slogan was the fight against terrorism. He called upon the delegates to organise the farmers and the rural masses for struggle for solutions to their problems and against the imperialist-capitalist combine.. which was trying to shift the burden of increasing capitalist crisis to the developing countries.
At home the BJP government was trying to crush the democratic movement by enacting draconian laws such as POTO, whilst vying to become a junior partner of the US. Expressing deep concern at the increasing communalisation, Karat pointed out that the BJP was bent on terrorising the minorities through the Sangh Parivar. He emphasised that discontentment was increasing against these anti-people policies, reflected in the fact that since 1998, the BJP could win in only three states out of the 14 to which elections were held. He called upon the delegates to unite the democratic, secular and Leftist forces for militant mass struggle on the issues and problems faced by people, strengthening the Party and work to develop a Left, secular and democratic alternative to both the Congress and the BJP.
Hari Ram Chauhan placed the political -organisational report. In the context of the international and national situation, the report gave detailed analysis of the social, political and economic situation in the state, a self critical analysis of the Party and mass organisations and the mass struggles launched by them. Analysing the efforts of the BJP, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena, to foment communal trouble,. The report pointed out that the inability of the ruling Congress government to curb these orgainsations arose out of the fact that it was implementing the same policies as the previous BJP government had done. Consequently, thousands of factories and mills had closed down rendering lakhs of workers jobless, fresh recruitment had been banned, massive hike in education fees and electricity charges had taken place and the privatisation of the electricity board was having a disastrous effect on agriculture. Already reeling under severe drought for the past three years, the farmers have been pushed to the brink of disaster by the crashing prices of bajra and other foodgrains. Lack of adequate irrigation water and fake pesticides have destroyed 90 per cent of the crops. Special mention must be made of the starvation faced by people in tribal areas. Privatisation of education and health facilities has deprived the poor of these facilities. Crimes against women are increasing and police repression against mass agitations highlights the authoritarian attitude of the ruling classes.
This was illustrated by the firing on the farmers in presence of the chief minister in Maulsaur, the police repression on students, and failure to arrest the perpetrators of the murder of Comrade Darshan Koda by mill owners and the liquor mafia, exposing the unholy alliance between the BJP, Congress, liquor mafia and mill owners.
While narrating the activities of the party and mass organisations, the report pointed out that though the Party had launched effective mass struggles involving lakhs of people, this was not reflected in terms of the growth of the Party or the mass orgainsations, rather there is stagnation in the party membership and no noteworthy increase in the membership of mass organisations. Some improvement in the functioning of state centre, state secretariat and district committees, has been reported, but organisational weaknesses remain, in particular proper political ideological training could not be given to both old and new members. The report concluded with outlining the measures proposed to root out the weaknesses in order to build a strong party.
The discussion on the report involved over 61 delegates who made a number of practical suggestions based on their experiences. After incorporation of the various amendments and suggestions the report was passed unanimously.
The resolutions put forward reflected the 15 goals and 18 demands as immediate tasks for strengthening and building the party through mass struggles, in the secretarys report
A 31 member state committee with one vacancy was elected, with Vasudev as the state secretary and Hari Ram Chauhan, Hetram Beniwal, Sheopat Singh, Ravinder Shukla, B.L. Singhvi, Amra Ram, Duli Chand, Phul Chand and Ramesh Patolia as secretariate members.
Concluding the conference, Hannan Mollah congratulated the 4l delegates for a successful conference, calling upon them to build a strong Party. He urged the delegates, as was highlighted in the report, to develop the possibilities of the formation of a third front by the Left, secular and democratic forces as an alternative to the BJP and Congress, build the Party and mass organisations.
In the effort to strengthen the Party, democratic centralism, and collective leadership in functioning must be ensured, and cadres built by developing their political-ideological consciousness, and working correctly at each level of the Party. A revolutionary party needs a strong centre, and proper relations with mass organisations. for understand importance of the party organ, and develop a revolutionary against the capitalist feudal combine in Rajasthan.
Among others who addressed the concluding session were Udaipur district secretary B L Singhvi, former state secretary Hari Ram Chauhan and newly elected secretary Vasudev. Hetram Beniwal, on behalf of the presidium, thanked the central leadership, Udaipur district committee activists and the delegates.
The conference ended with the firm resolve of the delegates to organise and unite the farmers, workers, youth, women, farm wokers, employees and common people for a militant mass struggle.
Report Of Credentials Committee
|20 30 years||17|
|31 - 40 years||64|
|41 - 50 years||79|
|51 60 years||34|
|Up to Rs 500||12|
|Up to Rs 1000||32|
|Rs 3001- 5000||34|
|Rs 5001 10,000||33|
|Rs 10001 25000||3|
Membership In The Party
|Up to one month||28|
|One month to one year||18|
|More than one year||13|
Four years and six months, Hetram Beniwal