People's Democracy

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


No. 46

November 13, 2011




First-Ever State-Level Class of Party Wholetimers


Mahendra Singh


THE first-ever state-level class of party wholetimers, organised by the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee, was successfully held on November 3-4, 2011 at the Adarsh Vidyalaya at Chembur in Mumbai. It was attended by 151 comrades from 23 districts; 14 of them were women. Among the delegates, 60 were working on the Kisan front, 56 on the Trade Union front, 11 on the Youth front, 9 on the Agricultural Workers front, 6 on the Women’s front, 2 on the Student front and 7 on other fronts. Some comrades from the Trade Union front could not attend due to the preparations for the nationwide protest scheduled for November 8. The major district-wise representation was from Thane (28), Solapur (21), Mumbai (18), Nashik (12), Kolhapur (11) and Pune (10).




After a presentation of inspiring revolutionary songs by the Praja Natya Mandal of Solapur, CPI(M) state secretariat member and Mumbai district secretary Mahendra Singh explained the objectives of this class, underlined the importance of wholetimers in a Communist Party and welcomed the delegates who had come from across the state. He also placed the time table for the next two days.  


The class was inaugurated by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K Varadha Rajan. Explaining the Marxist perspective of revolutionary change, he said that CPI(M), which is the revolutionary vanguard of the working class of India, is committed to fight for a socialist society. For achieving this, a broad class unity has to be forged against the ruling big bourgeoisie and landlord classes and against imperialism. Party wholetimers have a key role to play in this struggle since, as Lenin said, they are the professional revolutionaries of our movement and organisation. Speaking of the pernicious role of caste, religion and money in Indian politics, he said it was our responsibility to educate the people and bring them together in massive and sustained class struggles around their basic issues.


Varadha Rajan stressed the importance of collective functioning with individual responsibility and of criticism and self-criticism in the development of party wholetimers. Maintaining live contact with the people, sharing their joys and sorrows and organising their struggles were key tasks that wholetimers must never neglect. Equally important was the need for constant self-study and regularly reading the party papers and publications to get a proper grasp of the party line on various issues. Only if we are so equipped can we effectively take the party’s stand to the people. Finally, he said that as communists we must never forget that the interests of the party take precedence over our personal interests, and the interests of our country take precedence over the interests of our party. He expressed confidence that this class would go a long way to make party wholetimers in Maharashtra keenly aware of their duties and responsibilities towards the advance of the party.




CPI(M) state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale then placed the draft resolution “The Importance of Party Wholetimers and Their Functioning” before the delegates. Copies of the six-page draft resolution had been given to all the delegates. In the first section titled “Wholetimers: Backbone of the Party,” the resolution deals with the concept of wholetimers enunciated by Lenin, the criteria for the selection of cadres set out by Dimitrov and the cardinal importance given to party wholetimers and their work by the CPI(M) ever since its inception.


In the second section titled “Characteristics of Wholetimers,” the resolution sets out five characteristics that wholetimers must have and develop in themselves, especially in the present challenging political situation that the party has to face. These five characteristics, briefly, are: 1. Unshakable faith in Marxist-Leninist ideology, complete confidence in the party and readiness to devote one’s whole life to the cause; 2. Capacity to take the initiative in launching class and mass struggles, live contact with the people and regular work in a class or mass organisation; 3. Ability to politically and ideologically educate the people and, in order to develop this ability, constant reading of, and reflection on party papers and Marxist literature; 4. Mastery over the science and art of building the organisation, to be gained through practical experience and collective functioning; 5. Spotless character, transparent behaviour, efficiency in work, readiness to sacrifice and simple living.


The third section deals in detail with the selection, manner of functioning and evaluation of wholetimers, setting many important guidelines. The fourth section deals with the issue of wages and care of wholetimers. In 2008, the party’s state committee for the first time gave a call for the collection of a Rs 50 lakh wholetimers fund in Maharashtra, of which nearly Rs 40 lakh was collected. This enabled the state committee and some district committees to increase the number of wholetimers and also their wages. This section makes some concrete proposals for taking this process further, so that better care of wholetimers is ensured. The fifth and concluding section ends with an extract from the inspiring last appeal of Shaheed Bhagat Singh written less than two months before he was hanged by the British – an appeal that is still relevant to all communists across the country.




The afternoon session on the first day was devoted to “Current Political Challenges: International and National,” and this class was taken by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat. This session helped the delegates to get a clear political direction to their work. In the international section, she briefly dealt with the situation after the fall of the Soviet Union, the resultant aggressiveness of American imperialism, the current world capitalist crisis and the growing resistance to neo-liberal policies being manifested across the world in working class struggles, in the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement and in political change in Latin America and elsewhere. She said that on all these issues, the party will discuss and adopt an ideological resolution in its coming congress.


In the national section, Brinda Karat dealt with the imperialist offensive in India in various sectors and explained the party’s stand on the issue of the Indo-US nuclear deal. She dwelt upon the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the UPA regime and their disastrous impact on different classes of the working people. On the other hand, the big capitalists, landlords and multinationals were flourishing as never before. The other issues that she explained at length were those of social oppression, communalism, federalism and, of course, the burning question of corruption. On each of these she explained the stand of the party. Finally, she called upon delegates to strengthen class and mass struggles and also the party, so that a political alternative to the ruling classes could emerge.




On the evening and night of November 3, there were two intensive group discussions among the delegates. One was mass organisation-wise, and the other was district-wise. Here the comrades discussed points to enrich the resolution, to improve the quality and output of their own work and to strengthen their mass organisation and also party work in their district.


The entire morning session on November 4 was devoted to speeches by the delegates. This was one of the most interesting sessions of this class. A total of 33 comrades – 27 speaking on behalf of their districts and 6 on behalf of their mass organisations – placed their views to enrich the resolution, to improve their own work and to make important suggestions to the state committee. Two comrades – party state committee member from Nanded district, Vijay Gabhane, and district secretariat member from Nagpur district, Arun Latkar – pledged to continue to work as wholetimers of the party without taking party wages henceforth. This announcement was greeted with cheers.




In the concluding session of this class, CPI(M) Central Committee member K L Bajaj and state secretariat member Ajit Abhyankar made effective interventions while reporting on some organisational issues. The three sessions of this class were chaired by state secretariat members Manohar Muley, Kiran Moghe and Mariam Dhawale.


State secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale replied to the discussion, congratulated the delegates for their valuable contribution and promised to finalise the resolution after incorporating the suggestions made by delegates. He reported the decisions of the party state committee meeting held on November 2 and the time table of the party’s district conferences. He called upon all delegates to work hard to achieve success in the ensuing political battle of the statewide local body elections.


The rousing concluding address of this class was delivered by CPI(M) state secretariat member and ex-MLA Narsayya Adam, who gave several inspiring examples of the ways of enhancing the struggles and influence of the party. Giving relevant examples from his own 46-year party life, he stressed the need to have abiding faith in the party, to maintain strict party discipline, to uphold the principles of democratic centralism, collective functioning and individual responsibility, and to further strengthen the unity of the party around the actual practice of these principles. Finally, he expressed confidence that this class would have a salutary effect on the growth of the party and mass organisations.


The CPI(M) Mumbai district committee and its volunteers, and the Kerala People’s Education Society (KPES) that runs the Adarsh Vidyalaya, had made excellent arrangements for this class. Manohar Muley warmly thanked all of them. The class then concluded amidst revolutionary slogans.