People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIV

No. 06

February 07, 2010

CITU Holds State Conferences

 

JAMMU & KASHMIR

THE Jammu & Kashmir state unit of the Centre of India Trade Unions (CITU) held its third state conference on January 16 and 17 in Jammu, starting with an impressive rally of workers. On the first day of the two-day state conference, workers from all parts of the state collected in the Jiwal Chowk and reached Indira Chowk in the form of a procession, waving red flags and raising militant slogans. At Indira Chowk, the procession culminated in a mass meeting.

Addressing the rally, CITU state president and CPI(M) MLA, Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, lambasted the central and the state governments for their failure to curb the incessant price rise which is converting the life of an ordinary citizen into a nightmare. While addressing the need of preserving communal harmony in the state, he also said the whole state must reverberate with protesting voices whenever there is an atrocity against a worker in any part of the state. He condemned the repression being let loose against the peaceful agitations of the working class and other toiling sections, and demanded that the state government must forthwith stop the use of lathis, bullets and tear gas shells against the people’s agitations. He also accused the state government of remaining a silent spectator of the blatant violations of labour laws in the state. Tarigami concluded with an appeal to the workers to intensify their movement in Jammu & Kashmir in the days to come.

The state CITU’s working president, Javed Zargar, detailed the pathetic plight of workers in the construction and other sectors in the state. State CITU general secretary Om Prakash detailed the workers’ struggles in the state in the recent period and treasurer Sham Prasad Kesar flayed the state government’s silence on the problems facing the mid-day meal workers in Jammu & Kashmir.

The delegates session started at about 4 p m in the Dogra Brahmin Sabha’s auditorium that was rechristened as K K Bakhshi Hall. After trade union leader A G Haafiz unfurled the CITU flag, the delegates elected a three-member presidium, based on Sham Prasad Kesar, Mushtaq Ahmad and Nirdosh Uppal, to conduct the proceedings of the conference. Teachers movement leader Banarasi Das read out the welcome speech after the delegates had paid homage to Comrade K K Bakhshi and other departed comrades. Banarasi Das expressed the hope that the third state conference of the CITU would deliberate on the burning issues facing the working class and be instrumental in taking their movements forward.

Inaugurating the conference, Mohd Yousuf Tarigami said the CITU agenda was the agenda of those who are the harbingers of a new society. We bring to the fore the forces which ensure dignity and job for the working class. Detailing how the CITU was able to hold its third state conference in Jammu city despite a string of repressive measures, he told how the ongoing economic recession was worse than the crisis of the 1930s. So much do that the government of India has itself admitted that five lakhs jobs were lost; it is another thing that in actuality more than 25 lakh people have lost their jobs. Tarigami said an economic upswing in a capitalist system is never lasting, and nobody knows what troubles are in store for the common people in the days to come. In Jammu & Kashmir, thousands of people have been employed on a casual basis or on contract, with no security of their jobs. All the labour laws are being violated with impunity. Since the day the new government took the charge, it has called not a single meeting on the problems facing the working class. Every possible means is being used to suppress the right to protest. Employers are frequently resorting to retrenchments and lockouts to deprive the workers of their due rights while the police intervene from the employers’ side in any industrial dispute.  

Tarigami also touched on the problems facing other sections in the state, especially those facing the working women. So far, the ASHA, Anganwadi and mid-day meal workers have not been brought under the purview of the minimum wage legislation. The speaker also said the government always talked of a resource crunch whenever there was pressure for enactment and implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), but now the ruling party politicians never tire of taking the credit for the same. Warning that the tendency to overlook the problems facing the working people encourages and strengthens the fissiparous forces only, he said the working class movement has to take steps to fight, isolate and curb these forces.

In the general secretary’s report, Om Prakash narrated how a number of factors, including the political instability in the state, were impacting the life of the workers of Jammu & Kashmir. The report dwelt on the numerous problems facing the working class in the state.

Mohd Maqbool (CCTU), Ghulam Nabi Malik (Jammu & Kashmir Kisan Tehreek, an affiliate of the All India Kisan Sabha), Pawan Gupta (LIC) and comrades of the medical representatives’ association also expressed their views at the conference.

Punjab CITU president Vijay Mishra also greeted the conference.

On the second day of the conference, a total of 20 delegates took part in the discussion on the general secretary’s report, followed by adoption of the report with some amendments. The conference also adopted resolutions on communalism, neo-liberal policies, public sector units, ASHA workers, rising prices, labour law violations and certain other issues.

The conference elected a new state committee with 27 members, out of which five places were left vacant for cooption later. The state committee, in turn, elected a state secretariat with Mohd Yousuf Tarigami as president, Javed Zargar as working president, Om Prakash as general secretary, Sham Prasad Kesar as treasurer and Nirdosh Uppal as chief convenor.

A total of 200 delegates took part in the state conference.

Just before the conclusion of the conference, the delegates received the sad news of Comrade Jyoti Basu’s demise which plunged the whole house into gloom. Tarigami, on this occasion, talked of Comrade Jyoti Basu’s relations with the trade union movement. Comrade Basu felt deep concern for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and also had deep insight in regard to the Kashmir problem. It was at his initiative that the Srinagar conclave of chief ministers was held on the issue of centre-state relations, and he played a lead role in deciding the future of centre-state relations in the country. Tarigami forcefully stressed that not only the friends of the Left but also its enemies had had deep respect for Comrade Basu.

The conference delegates then paid homage to Comrade Jyoti Basu by observing two-minutes  silence in his memory, pledging to take forward the cause to which Comrade Basu had dedicated his entire life. (Sham Prasad Kesar)

 

UTTARAKHAND

THE Uttarakhand state conference of the CITU took place in Chittabrata Majumdar Nagar at Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar district on December 19 and 20. It opened with an open rally following a huge procession which started from the conference venue and culminated in a mass meeting at the same place after moving through the thoroughfares of the town. CITU national secretary Tapan Sen addressed the meeting, detailing the national and international context of the working class movement today, and the anti-people policies of the government.

State Kisan Sabha president Bachchiram Kaunswal and general secretary Gangadhar Nautiyal, DYFI state president Dinesh Pandey, AILU state convenor Yogesh Pachaulia, JMS state general secretary Indu Nautiyal, SFI state general secretary Lekhraj, CITU state vice president Vijay Rawat and reception committee convenor K D Mishra also addressed the meeting. Satya Prakash presented some points on behalf of the mass meeting’s presidium.

The delegates session started at about 2 pm on the first day. After the flag hoisting and homage to the martyrs and departed comrades, Tapan Sen inaugurated the conference, detailing among other things the significance of the CITU’s decision for February 17 coming. It is to be noted that on that day, the CITU has decided to register its strong protest to the incessantly rising prices of essential commodities by organising road blockades at various places all over the country. Sen urged the delegates and others to organise a powerful protest movement on this issue, independently or in cooperation with other trade unions and mass organisations.

In his presidential address, Satya Prakash drew attention to the CITU’s activities and responsibilities in the current context, urging the delegates to rise to the occasion.

In his report, CITU state general secretary Virendra Bhandari narrated the struggles conducted over the last three years and the tasks for the future. The CITU is, the report pointed out, duty-bound to take the class struggle forward in the state and the country, and forge a powerful agitation in cooperation with other trade unions and mass organisations.        

Representing various district-wise delegations, 30 delegates including nine women took part in the discussion on the general secretary’s report. The latter as well as the statement of accounts for the last three years was unanimously adopted.

The conference elected a new state committee which, in turn, elected a new state executive with Satya Prakash as president and Virendra Bhandari as general secretary. Nine delegates as well as four alternative delegates for the CITU national conference, to be held at Chandigarh from March 17 to 21, 2010, were also elected.

A number of fraternal delegates also addressed the delegates session while Satya Prakash delivered the concluding address. (Virendra Bhandari)