People's Democracy

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


No. 46

November 14, 2010



CPI(M), AIKS Organise Successful Statewide Classes


Ashok Dhawale


ON October 24, a statewide class of the leading cadre of the CPI(M) and mass organisations in Maharashtra was successfully held at the Adarsh Vidyalaya in Mumbai. It was attended by 345 delegates from 27 districts. They included state committee and district committee members of the party, wholetimers of the party and mass organisations, and state secretariat members of the mass organisations.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury took the following two subjects in this day long class: (1) Central Committee resolutions on the party’s rectification campaign, and (2) Reporting of the extended Central Committee meeting at Vijayawada. Yechury dwelt upon both the subjects at length and at the end of each presentation, also replied to several questions asked by the delegates. This class helped the entire state and district leadership of the party to gain a common political-organisational understanding on both these important subjects.


CPI(M) state secretariat member and Mumbai district secretary Mahendra Singh welcomed the delegates. State secretariat member Dr Vitthal More placed the condolence resolution paying homage to Comrade Krishna Khopkar and to renowned Marxist poet Narayan Surve. The two sessions of the party class were chaired by Central Committee members Kumar Shiralkar and K L Bajaj respectively. State secretariat member Narsayya Adam and Mumbai district secretariat member Dr S K Rege proposed the vote of thanks. Party literature and other progressive literature worth over Rs 22,000 was sold in this class and in the AIKS state class that followed, at a stall put up by the state committee. The CPI(M) Mumbai committee and its volunteers made excellent arrangements to host this party class.


A day long meeting of the CPI(M) state secretariat the previous day, on October 23, and a brief meeting of the party’s state committee on October 24 took some immediate decisions with regard to future tasks. These were placed before the class by state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale.


These decisions included (1) Full and active support to the strike struggles of the Anganwadi workers and sugarcane cutters; (2) Intensifying the statewide struggle for proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act; (3) Carrying forward the struggle on issues of price rise, food security and the public distribution system; (4) Making all efforts to win the Vidhan Parishad election in the Aurangabad division teachers constituency, due on November 27; (5) Completing all district advertisement targets within a month for a special issue of the party weekly Jeevanmarg (nearly Rs 10 lakh worth of advertisements and cash out of a total target of Rs 20 lakh has been received so far, and this amount will be used for fulfilling the state quota for the ‘Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet Bhavan Fund’ and also for the renovation of the state Party office ‘Janashakti’ in Mumbai and the ‘Comrade B T Ranadive Smarak Bhavan’ in New Mumbai; (6) Launching a drive in the month of November to increase the subscriptions to the party’s state and central weeklies viz. Jeevanmarg, Loklahar and People’s Democracy as well as to the theoretical quarterly The Marxist (nearly 100 subscriptions were received in this class itself); (7) Completing some long pending and specific organisational tasks by the district committees; and (8) Beginning serious preparations for the statewide local body elections to zilla parishads, panchayat samitis, municipal corporations and municipal councils that are due from December 2011 to March 2012.


The CPI(M)’s Maharashtra state committee has completed the quota of two lakh rupees given to it by the CPI(M) Central Committee for the Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet Bhavan, being built in Delhi. This amount was handed over by the party’s state treasurer Mahendra Singh to CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S Ramachandran Pillai when he was in Mumbai for the AIKS state level class recently. It must be recorded here that the CPI(M)’s transport district committee alone collected two lakh rupees for this fund, and this is the highest amount collected by any district so far for the consolidated fund call of Rs 20 lakh given by the state committee.




The state-level class and workshop of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was held at the Comrade B T Ranadive Smarak Bhavan in New Mumbai on October 25-26, with 134 delegates from 19 districts attending. The hall for the class was named after the AIKS’s state vice president and former CKC member Krishna Khopkar. The state class was presided over by AIKS state president and ex-MLA, J P Gavit, and the state workshop was presided over by AIKS state working president and MLA, Rajaram Ozare.


The class was inaugurated by P Sainath, renowned journalist and rural affairs editor of The Hindu. Sainath analysed various aspects of the deep agrarian crisis and the neo-liberal policies that were responsible for it. Citing facts and figures, he dealt with the issue of peasant suicides, indebtedness, food security and other burning questions plaguing the countryside. He contrasted this with the massive concessions being given to the corporates and the multinationals. He also called for popularising a new model of agriculture with minimum recourse to pesticides and chemical fertilisers, conservation of water in every farm, change in crop pattern favouring food crops etc. Finally, he suggested that the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha set up a Comrade Krishna Khopkar Research Centre for studying the new agrarian issues coming up in the state.


For the first time in a state AIKS class, state office bearers and state council members themselves had been asked to prepare notes on burning agrarian issues in Maharashtra on which struggles would be launched. The notes thus prepared were distributed to all the delegates. These comrades then briefly and effectively placed each of these issues before the class.


The nine topics and the comrades who placed them were as follows: (1) Present agrarian crisis – its meaning, character and solution – Udayan Sharma; (2) Indebtedness of the peasantry in Maharashtra – Dr R Ramkumar; (3) Implementation of the Forest Rights Act – J P Gavit and Rajaram Ozare; (4) The issue of irrigation and bankrupt state government policies – Dr Ajit Nawale; (5) The question of SEZs and the new Maharashtra SEZ bill – Sanjay Thakur; (6) The issue of cotton prices – Yashwant Zade; (7) The issue of sugarcane prices – Umesh Deshmukh; (8) The question of temple lands and grass lands – Santram Patil; (9) The public distribution system and food security – Manoj Kirtane.


On the second day, AIKS president S Ramachandran Pillai took the class on the AIKS understanding of the agrarian crisis and the decisions of the AIKS Guntur national conference that was held earlier this year. He castigated the Congress-led UPA regime for its neo-liberal, pro-imperialist and anti-peasant policies that are leading to devastating effects in the countryside. He asked the comrades to concretely identify the local issues of the peasants and to launch sustained struggles on them. In the second part, he also stressed the need for a powerful organisation and on how to build it.


AIKS state general secretary Kisan Gujar then placed the future action programme proposed by the state office bearers meeting held the previous night. The delegates then dispersed for group discussion for an hour, in which they concretised these tasks for their own district. One delegate from each district then reported to the class what they had decided. This last workshop session created enthusiasm among the activists to carry out the tasks that had been decided.


The five major decisions taken by the class were the following:


(1) On November 15, large and militant agitational actions would be organised by the AIKS at tehsil and district centres around specific state level and local demands.

(2) On December 14, the AIKS will organise a statewide march to the state assembly during its winter session at Nagpur. Eight major demands for both the above actions were identified.

(3) The AIKS membership drive will begin immediately and will be completed by the end of December. The activists of Ahmednagar district, which has already completed 20,000 membership, that is nearly three times its quota, were felicitated by S R Pillai.

(4) AIKS village committees would be activated for these agitational and organisational tasks.

(5) The dates of AIKS district council meetings to carry out these tasks were finalised.  


After the credentials report was placed, the class was addressed by the seniormost AIKS state vice president and former CKC member L B Dhangar. On the basis of his 60-year experience of working in the AIKS, Dhangar gave valuable suggestions for strengthening the movement.


In the concluding speech, AIKS state vice president and CKC member Dr Ashok Dhawale, giving concrete examples, stressed the need for sustained struggles on specific peasant issues and the need to forge a strong organisation. He expressed confidence that the tasks decided upon in unison by all the delegates would be carried out with determination in the days ahead.