People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 20, 2005
OF THE 21ST STATE CONFERENCE OF THE
Budhadeb speaking in the conference
THE 21st conference of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) commenced on and from the morning of February 9 at A K Gopalan Nagar (Kamarhati) deep in the industrial belt of north 24 Parganas. The dais has been named after the departed CITU leader, Shanti Ghatak.
delegates, 123 observers, and 33 honorary delegates attended the conference.
CPI(M) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet inaugurated the conference with
the hoisting of the Red Flag. Surjeet,
Jyoti Basu, Prakash Karat, Biman Basu, Anil Biswas, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, and
Amitava Basu garlanded the Martyrs’ column.
An 85-member state committee was elected unanimously by the conference. Anil Biswas was unanimously re-elected the secretary of the Bengal CPI(M).
his inaugural speech, Surjeet praised the role emoted by the Bengal unit of the
Communist Party when during the fifties and sixties, an attempt was made to
create a rightist deviation in the Party. In
the decades since then, the CPI(M) has grown in an appreciable manner.
This is because the CPI(M) has followed the correct political-ideological
said that Marxism-Leninism was a science and not a dogma, and thus, it must be
implemented as per the evolving realities of a situation prevailing in a
country. Following the model of
other countries would be of little use. Surjeet pointed to China and said that
the Chinese Communist party was concerned about the application of the theory of
Marxism-Leninism in the context of the reality of that country.
staying in office for all of 28 years of a Left Front government in Bengal
depicted, said Surjeet, that the CPI(M) followed the correct
political-ideological line and that the people accepted it with an unstinting
support for the government.
said that the Bengal Communists had always been in the forefront of struggles.
The CPI(M) itself leads the struggles and movements being waged in India.
The struggle, declared Surjeet, would continue.
the conference elected a presidium comprising Jyoti Basu, Biman Basu, Mohd Amin,
Shyamali Gupta, Kanti Biswas, and Rupchand Murmu.
The credential committee comprised of Sridip Bhattacharya, Jibitesh
Sarkar, and Manoranjan Basu. The secretariat of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) functioned
as the steering committee of the conference.
Basu raised the condolence resolution.
attendance at the conference were Polit Bureau members Prakash Karat and Sitaram
Yechury, and central committee members Brinda Karat, Sukomal Sen, Janardan Pati,
Uddhab Barman, Hannan Mollah, and Mohd Salim.
Veteran Communist leader, Samar Mukherjee was present throughout the
the afternoon delegate session, Anil Biswas placed the secretary’s report.
Nirupam Sen raised the draft report on ‘Left Front government and our
tasks.’ Sen, a central committee member of the CPI(M) also placed the income
and expenditure report of the Bengal CPI(M) over the past three years from the
secretary of the Bengal CPI(M), Anil Biswas placed the secretary’s report or
the draft political-organisational report before the conference.
The report started with the international situation as it had evolved
over the past three years. Biswas
narrated in some detail how the neo-conservative Bush régime
was eager to establish the seamless hegemony of US imperialism over the world.
Bush wants to make the new century the century of US imperialism. Biswas
narrated in detail how the forces of US imperialism were active in the nefarious
task of spreading a network of control over the entirety of south Asia. In
Nepal, a grave is being dug for the Nepal democracy. In Bangladesh and Pakistan,
Islamic fundamentalists compete in aggressive and divisive zeal with their Hindu
counterparts in India.
said that because of imperialist globalisation, economic disparity, hunger,
unemployment, and death from diseases were on the rise.
Quoting statistics, Biswas said that over the past two years, in
particular, more people had died from hunger than the total number of people
killed during the two world wars. Unemployment is shooting up in the rich
countries. Biswas situated India
and Bengal in this context.
Biswas pointed to the multifarious ways in which attempts were being made to
build up a resistance to imperialism and how the Communists with their
principled stand were in the forefront of the struggle.
Biswas said that Bengal was a strong outpost of anti-imperialist struggle
and pointed out that merely by organising a few marches and holding some rallies
the evil of imperialism could not be effectively fought.
What is needed is a prolonged ideological struggle, which has to be
carried out every day and at every moment.
to the national situation, Anil Biswas said that the CPI(M) led the Left and the
secular-democratic forces to carry out a political-ideological battle against
communal forces. This ultimately saw the defeat suffered by the BJP in the 2004
Lok Sabha elections. The CPI(M) and the Left could secure 61 Lok Sabha seats
although this development, while welcome, does not signify a change in the
correlation of class forces, said Biswas.
a favourable situation has been created for the further growth and consolidation
of the mass base of the Party. Advantage must be taken of the circumstances and
the organisational base of the CPI(M) further strengthened. The CPI(M) allows no
illusions to creep in about the class character of the Congress that leads the
UPA. It is well known that the
Congress is ever eager to safeguard and advance the interests of the big
capitalist-big landlord class.
CMP is not the programme of the CPI(M). Nor
is the CMP a programme of the Left and democratic forces.
However, thanks to the pressure exerted by the CPI(M) and the Left, the
CMP does contain certain positive aspects.
The CPI(M) and the Left have chosen to lend their support to the
Congress-led government on the condition that the union government would put in
place the pro-people aspects of the CMP, stay away from anti-people and
especially anti-poor policies, and avoid a pro-imperialist foreign policy.
Mass movements and struggles must be launched against the policies of
compromise followed by the UPA government.
said that the complex task of support and opposition to the UPA government must
be explained carefully and patiently not only to the members of the CPI(M) but
to the people in general. While the
reality for a Third Front to emerge at this point of time does not exist, an
alternative would be a burgeoning and wide-ranging mass movement led by the
CPI(M) and the Left all over the country with the correct slogans.
pol-org report, dwelling in considerable detail on the situation in the state
began by saying that the Bengal CPI(M) organised its 20th state conference, and
during the three years that followed, there was the BJP-led NDA alliance in
front of us. Congress was in
doldrums. The opposition camp was
distracted and weak. Two
devastating bouts of floods followed. Then
came the 1999 Lok Sabha election, the 2000 municipal polls, and 2001 Assembly
elections. The main struggle was
against the ruinous economic policy of the union government, communalism,
separatism, and the efforts at creating chaos in Bengal.
notes the pol-org report, “meet in the 21st conference in the backdrop of a
big change nationally. The role of
the Party is well established in the 2003 Panchayat elections, and in the 2004
Lok Sabha elections that saw the throwing out of the BJP-led NDA government and
the setting up of a secular government.”
Left Front government, the pol-org report notes, could not avoid the fall out of
the imperialism-directed economic policy of the union government.
The crux of the economic policy is the planned assault on the federal
structure and on the centre-state relationship, and the squeezing out of the
scope of state intervention and the playing of the role of accountability to the
people. Everything is shifted to
the market forces.
ruinous economic policy was followed for one-and-half decades. The policy of
liberalisation has made the crisis of capitalism ever deeper.
The CPI(M) had planned as its principled task the duty of holding up an
alternate policy and fix the class orientation in the correct direction, in this
tough situation. The LF government is trying its level best to put in place its
programme of work. The CPI(M) and the Left Front have been engaged in the task
of keeping the people unified in this complex reality.
anti-Left forces have adopted different means to disrupt the policy
implementation of the LF government by resorting to slander and chaos making.
The years have seen the government and the Party implement its programmes
by attaching priority to the poorest sections of the people. The three years
have also witnessed the waging of struggles and movements against liberalisation
and privatisation. The task of making the people more conscious about the Bengal
CPI(M)’s and the Left Front government’s alternate policies and programmes
has continued apace.
the 20th state conference, there was the Gujarat communal genocide.
The CPI(M) led the campaign-movement against the planned role of the
sangh parivar, and against the indirect support behind the ugly event of the
Vajpayee government. The Trinamul
Congress became isolated. The cry for the dismissal of the Modi government
became strident and the Trinamul Congress had to backtrack. They have become
even more isolated in the process. However, they have clung to path of disruption.
imperialist acts in Afghanistan, the attack on Iraq, and attack on the people of
Palestine, and the activities in India of the fascist forces of Hindu
fundamentalism, with support from the union government, created an ambience of
terror. The activities of Muslim
fundamentalists rose in Bangladesh, our neighbour. The CPI(M) has attached great importance to the issue of
fundamentalism and its ideology and has worked to unite the people against it
for the past three years.
staying in office for six years of the BJP-led government saw the tenets of
communalism strike deep roots. The weaknesses of the Congress-led government at
the centre and the compromise the Congress strikes with communalism have
encouraged the fundamentalists to become active again.
The campaign-movement against communalism must never be allowed to
The pressure to defeat the Left front in the Panchayat polls of 2003 brought together the Congress, the Trinamul Congress, and the BJP. The Trinamul Congress tried to go on the path of disruption against issues that were pro-people. The campaign-movement by the Bengal CPI(M) saw these attempts end in failure. In some Assembly elections, the Congress line of ‘soft’ Hindutva helped the BJP.
past three years have seen separatist organisations like the KLO go on the
rampage. In their assaults, several CPI(M) workers including Jalpaiguri district
committee member, Gopal Chaki, were killed. In all they have murdered 22 of
Party members including a woman Party member. They have also organised assaults in Coochbehar and in
Darjeeling, killing 35.
Hill Council elections of Darjeeling, the report says, are due shortly.
The GNLF suffers from internal dissensions and the anguish of the people
grows against the corrupt outfit. We
need to have timely polls for the sake of democracy.
“We must present our positive outlook to the people as part of the
election campaign where we have had an alliance with some local parties.”
separatists, notes the report, target mostly the CPI(M) that has played a
stellar role in the task of organising national unity. The Congress, the
Trinamul Congress, and the BJP are engaged in political compromise with the
KLO could survive in spite of electoral debacles because of this political
shelter they have. The KLO has
links with the separatist ultras of the northeast.
We have to emote an ideological campaign against separatism side by side
with government’s efforts to curb them and expose the role of the opposition
parties in the state.
the western parts of south Bengal, the CPI (Maoists) has escalated extremists’
activities. They have killed
policemen with sophisticated weapons. They
mainly target the CPI(M). The
Congress, the Trinamul Congress, and the BJP as well as the Jharkhandis support
these acts. The ultras have gone on
sprees of murder and loot. They
keep contact with their counterparts in north Bengal as well as in Nepal.
commendable role, notes the pol-org report, of the CPI(M) against such
separatist efforts is laudable. The CPI(M) has resisted the acts by mass
mobilisation. The poor people have ignored threats and extended electoral
support to the Party. We must not
be self-satisfied but go on engaging ourselves in the task of organising the
people and enhancing their consciousness further. We must also emphasise on a rapid development of the areas
and localities in these parts of the state.
principled stand of the Party and the Left Front on the issue of communalism has
made it an enemy in the eyes of the imperialists and the forces of reaction.
The conspiracy against the Left front government is going on for the past
28 years. The casteist forces are
trying, like in the rest of the country, to raise their ugly heads in Bengal,
too. The CPI(M) must lead the struggle for economic and social justice and it
must involve the entirety of the working mass with the class and democratic
section of the media continue to be vituperative against the CPI(M).
Some newspapers and TV channels are particularly active in encouraging
slander campaign and chaos against us. As
we strengthen our political-organisational base and activities, the slander
campaign becomes wider. We have to further increase political contact with the
masses and enhance their level of consciousness in order to fight off these
ruling classes want the LF to disintegrate. The CPI(M) as the major partner has
the responsibility to further consolidate the unity of the Left Front and
conduct the struggle towards the alternate while paying attention to the task of
caring for and protecting the interests of the masses.
has been an increase of 11.25 per cent of Party members in the state with a rise
of 13.49 per cent of Party membership among workers.
number of women Party members has increased from 7.72 per cent in 2001 to 9.37
per cent now. As far as scheduled
castes are concerned, the number has increased by 21.27 per cent. Among
religious minorities, the membership has increased by 19.55 per cent.
Among linguistic minorities, the Party membership has gone appreciably
up. The number of students and
youth active in the Bengal CPI(M) has gone up.
Bengal CPI(M) has, at present, 25,650 branches, 1771 local committees, and 309
zonal committees. There has been an
increase by 2695, 288, and 27 respectively from the 20th conference.
Party education goes on apace.
discussions at the branch, local, zonal, and district conferences have been
deeply political and organisational this time.
The task of enhancing political consciousness must, however, continue
the time of the last state conference, the Bengal CPI(M) has lost 3506 Party
members; 129 of them have been martyred at the hands of the class enemies.
Bengal CPI(M) has identified a number of political organisational tasks.
entire Party must be unified further as per the decisions of the 21st state
conference and the 18th Party Congress.
educate Party comrades at every functional levels, the state committee and
the district committees must prepare ‘Party education calendars.’
The existing permanent Party Education Centres must be continued with
and more centres set up in the districts.
The state committee must formulate the special syllabi and curricula
for those without the benefit of education. Comrades must be encouraged to
self-educate themselves. The role of readers’ circles is important here.
That imperialist globalisation cannot solve basic problems of the society
and that socialism is the only alternative must be communicated as an
ideological campaign before the people.
campaign-movement and struggle against the all-pervasive attack of
imperialism must be kept up. The
struggle against such issues as liberalisation, privatisation, de-industrialisation,
the attack on working people, and the aggression on the field of culture
must be continued rigorously with.
people must be made conscious of the dangers emanating from fundamentalism
of the minority and the majority communities.
Conscious campaign-movement against casteist politics must be
launched. The unity of the working people must be maintained and the
secular-minded people urged to participate in the struggle against religious
campaign-movement against the implementation of the positive aspects of the
CMP and against the Fund-Bank directed anti-people policies must be stepped
up; the reasons behind the support lent to the UPA government in the
post-poll situation must be explained.
campaign-movement in demand of a restructuring of the centre-state
relations, and transfer of more power to the states, and on the issue of
lessening the burden of debt on the states must be organised. The demand for
the just redistribution of central taxes must be taken up.
Institutions like the National Development Council and the
inter-state council must be strengthened.
and popular opinion need to be built up for the curbing of extremist
activities along borders with Bangladesh and Nepal.
must be taken to maintain the independent role of the legislature,
administration, and judiciary, and to exert caution on the matter of
unwanted intervention by the judiciary on the legislature.
people including women must be unified in the task of opposing child
marriages, dowry system, and persecution of women. Wide endeavours are
needed to work against superstition and for scientific thinking.
must be adopted and movement built up against the continuous slander and
provocation of a section of the media and of the political outfits of the
ruling classes, and of disruptionist and separatist forces. Uniting the
people, we must thwart the forces. The movement against the extremists who
shelter behind ultra left politics must be strengthened.
Ideological, organisational, and administrative initiative must be
increased against these forces and activities.
The Party and the LF government must be made secure.
successes of the LF government must be highlighted. At the same time, the
Party and mass front workers must be oriented towards not only programmes
that serve popular interests but also in building up self-help groups, and
in the tasks of total-literacy-total health, and self-employment.
Highest priority must be attached to the poorest sections of the
people and to the poorest of the villages and the cities.
The work must be marked by pro-people priorities and transparency.
We have to try to attract the people by working with accountability
Left unity must be strengthened and we must win the working and the
democratic mass that remain outside the purview of the Left politics.
To thwart the designs against the LF government, a party equipped
politically, ideologically and in terms of political mass contact must be
district committees must organise specific planning for the circulation of
Marxist literature. Programmes
must be taken for the increase of circulation of Ganashakti
in each village/mohalla and
boards/tables set up for pasting of the newspaper daily.
Initiatives must be taken for the continuous increase in the sale of Deshahitaishi,
Marxbadi Path, Nandan, Hindi Swadhinta, People’s Democracy, and The
campaign must be continued with in the areas of ideology, politics, and
organisation. The struggle against non-Communist trends, against
consumerism, against factionalism must be continued with.
The Party discipline and unity must be further strengthened.
must be undertaken for the increase in the number of wholetimers in the
Party and in the mass fronts, fixing the minimum wages, and payment of wages
regularly. To facilitate work
amongst the workers, women, members of the scheduled castes and scheduled
tribes, and amongst linguistic and religious minorities, more wholetimers
should be inducted from these sections.
At the same time, emphasis must be given to the induction of
wholetimers from the youth. Their
political consciousness must be enhanced and nurtured for the making of
efficient professional revolutionaries.
the first day of the conference, Nirupam Sen placed the report: Left Front
government and Our Tasks.