People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 21

May 27, 2007

Special Convention On Tribal People At Midnapore


B Prasant


A SPECIAL convention on the various issues that concern the struggle of the tribal people was held recently at Midnapore town under the aegis of the Bengal CPI(M). Polit Bureau members Biman Basu and Brinda Karat were the principal speakers. A total of 61 delegates representing the different districts attended the convention.


Biman Basu said that any signs of backwardness, economic or social, was always utilised by the enemy. The enemy would create divide amongst the people, keep such conflict alive, and seek to utilise the mass of the people against the backward people. US imperialism through its CIA-led Operation Brahmaputra Project some years back tried to create a divide and separatism amongst the backward people of Assam and indeed all over the country. The conspiracy was yet alive.


Just as religious fervour was utilised today to create communal conflict, so was an effort made to create conflict between tribal and non-tribal people. In several areas, NGOs fuelled by funding from foreign and Indian forces of reaction were keen to make the tribal people move against the mainstream of democratic movement. The CPI(M) workers must be vigilant all the time against the efforts made by these unholy forces to help the class enemies.




The discussion by 19 delegates emphasised the programmes of development undertaken over the past three decades by the Bengal Left Front government. They also noted how there were areas of weaknesses still present. These include irrigation, potable drinking water, electrification, and proper inclusion of the names of tribal people in the BPL lists. There was also need to develop further consciousness among the tribal people. It was also necessary to ensure and be vigilant about the proper implementation of developmental schemes that benefited the tribals. It was necessary also to protect the tribal culture from the grasp of imperialist globalisation. Further spread of education amongst the tribals was another concern of the delegates.


Biman Basu pointed out that monitoring teams must be set up district-wise to look to the proper implementation of the allocations for tribal communities through the Panchayats and through concerned government departments. It must be ensured that the simple-minded tribal people were not taken advantage of by those who are cheats and are dishonest people and deprive them of their rights through verbal manoeuvres and double-speak. This is another responsibility for the Party leaders and Party workers.


The condition must not prevail where those who are backward create a backward draw on the society itself. The emergent and important task of the moment is for the Communist Party to establish itself among these sections through proper behaviour and Communist activities amongst them. Biman Basu also spoke of the need to strengthen the Bengal Left Front through struggle and unity.


Brinda Karat said that if the CPI(M) were not able to build up a strong movement and struggle against the class exploitation of the tribal people, the class struggle itself would weaken. Brinda Karat said that the CPI (M) was engaged in a struggle against all attempts in states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to deprive the tribal people of their right to forest resources. The struggle of the tribal people must be made part of the larger struggle being waged nationwide by the working people. The level of consciousness of the tribal people must be further improved so that they could be inducted in larger numbers in the CPI(M) and made wholetimers. Other speakers included CPI(M) leaders Madan Ghosh, and Rupchand Murmu who presided.