People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 27, 2007
CPI(M) Holds State Level ‘Dalit Hakka Sammelan’
K Varadarajan inaugurating the convention in Nashik
THE CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee organised a state level ‘Dalit Hakka Sammelan’’ (Dalit Rights Convention) in Nashik in Maharashtra on May 19, 2007. This is the first ever convention organised by the Party in Maharashtra on dalit issues. 400 delegates from 24 districts covering the entire state participated in the convention. The convention gave a clarion call to observe July 11, 2007 by organising district level ‘Dalit Hakka Sammelans’ after conducting a thorough and detailed survey of discriminating practices in the districts and to organise a mass campaign to build a broad based class unity of dalits, adivasis, nomadics, workers and peasants .
Vithhal More, state secretariat member of the Party welcomed the delegates. K Varadarajan, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) inaugurated the convention. He said “the fight against atrocities on dalits and inhuman discrimination based on the caste system has to be militantly waged under the leadership of Communist Party of India (Marxist). This is an inseparable task of the peoples’ democratic revolution in India. The struggle for socialism, for society based on equality has two dimensions in our country. The economic exploitation and social discrimination can be eradicated only by a united strength of all the working masses regardless of caste, creed or religion. The age old caste system and the inhuman practices of social boycott persist till today. We have to identify them and consciously try to wipe them out. ‘I am neither a Hindu nor a Muslim, nor of any other religion; I am a human being’ that should be our slogan.” Varadarajan expressed confidence that this state wide Dalit Hakka Sammelan will definitely give a vigorous boost to the all round class struggle in Maharashtra.
The other main speeches were delivered by the veteran CPI(M) leader and ex-minister of education of West Bengal, Kanti Biswas and Prof. Ravsaheb Kasbe , a prominent figure in the intellectual field of Maharashtra. Prof. Kasbe emphasised the need to understand positively the principles and teachings of Karl Marx and Dr. Ambedkar. He pointed out the similarities in the thoughts of Marx and Ambedkar and appealed the delegates to consciously utilise them in practice to build a socialist society. The religion that teaches to bifurcate and divide the social fabric must be refuted altogether. The caste is the social reality which benefits the owners of property and power. Only on the firm basis of unity of dalit and all other toiling masses can we achieve our goal, said Prof. Kasbe.
Kanti Biswas explained the contributions made by the West Bengal Left Front government for the upliftment of dalits. He said that Dr. Ambedkar had to resign when he was faced with a difficult situation created by the Congress leaders at the time of framing the Hindu Code Bill. He reminded the convention that Dr. Ambedkar was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal. While attacking the communal forces for sharply discriminating against dalits, he also criticised successive Congress governments for having done very little for dalit upliftment. He ended his speech by quoting a verse condemning the caste system from the ‘Gitanjali’ composed by Rabindranath Tagore.
The concluding speeches were made by Ashok Dhawale, the Party state secretary and central committee member Prabhakar Sanzgiri. Dr D L Karad, Babasaheb Saravade, Ms. Devamma Asode, Shailendra Kambale and Manohar Rangari were in the presidium.
The Resolution of the Convention prepared by the Party state secretariat was placed by CPI(M) central committee member Kumar Shiralkar . More than 30 delegates participated in the discussions that followed. All the speakers narrated their ground level experiences of economic exploitation, subtle forms of untouchability and the heinous and cruel atrocities led and perpetrated by the caste Hindu landlords on dalits in general and dalit women in particular.