People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 04, 2008
CPI(M) Holds Jammu Regional Conference
PREPARATORY to the 19th party congress, the one-day Jammu regional conference of the CPI(M) greeted the people of Jammu region for their sustained faith in the values of pluralism and their deep urge to maintain communal harmony, despite grave provocations. The conference, however, noticed with concern the attempts by certain political and other vested interests to create a gulf between the communities and regions, which the people have all along rejected with the contempt that it deserved.
CPI(M) state secretary Mohd Yousuf Tarigami and state secretariat member O N Trishal attended the conference along with a large number of elected delegates. The conference discussed at length the existing political situation in the state. It stressed the fact that the diversity in a society constituted its strength rather than a liability and, as such, the panorama represented by the three distinct regions of the state – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – must be considered a unique feature, which lends variety, charm and strength to the state. The conference pleaded for the people’s unity. This, among other things, requires legal, constitutional and administrative mechanisms for devolution of power, authority and finances to the three regions and their percolation to sub-regions – the district, block, gram panchayats and ward levels with democratically elected bodies at each tier. The conference explained that the interests of the people of Jammu could, in no way, be detrimental to the interests of any other region and the vice versa.
The conference noted with satisfaction that the differences at various levels were being sorted out through dialogue and discussion. It said the pace of ongoing peace process needs to be accelerated and made more purposeful. The conference expressed concern over the half-hearted manner in which a political solution of the Kashmir issue was being pursued. It opined that each day’s delay in this process was creating more political uncertainties, thereby increasing the miseries of the people. The conference demanded immediate implementation of recommendations of Four Working Groups constituted at the Round Table Conference set up by no less than the prime minister of India, with much fanfare.
The conference felt that Jammu region, which had already faced one partition in 1947, was in much more disturbed condition, as it faced the refugee problem as a result of the series of Indo-Pak conflicts in 1947, 1965 and 1971. It pleaded for providing all the basic and civic amenities to the refugees from West Pakistan. It also demanded appropriate amendments to the constitution so that the reserved constituency segments could be rotated in the interests of backward classes. The conference took note of the situation that though the Dogri language was included in the 8th schedule of the constitution, it was still taught as an optional subject in schools. The conference demanded that Dogri must be made a compulsory subject in educational institutions and that the government must start a Dogri channel of Doordarshan.
The conference expressed anguish over the failure of the coalition government to implement labour laws, enforce minimum wages, and absorb the local youth in various railway and hydraulic power projects and industrial projects going on in the state. It also demanded provision of subsidies and high quality seeds to the peasants and payment of unemployment allowance to the educated unemployed while making the development employment oriented. It asked the state government to bring the escalating prices of essential commodities under control in order to provide relief to the suffering and vulnerable sections of the population.
The conference elected a 15-member Jammu regional committee for the next 3 years, with Shyam Prasad Kesar as the regional secretary.