People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXVI

No. 01

January 01, 2012

 

CPI(M) JAMMU REGIONAL CONFERENCE

 

Need to Reject Division Slogans, Safeguard Human Rights

 

Abdul Rashid

 

THE Jammu unit of the CPI(M) organised its seventh regional conference on December 26 at Miran Sahab in Jammu city. Inaugurated by CPI(M) state secretary and MLA, M Y Tarigami,  it was presided over by a presidium consisting of Om Prakash, Javid Ahmad Zarger and Sohan Lal. Banarasi Das moved the condolence resolution to pay tributes to the departed leaders.

 

While addressing the conference, Tarigami expressed the opinion that unity of the state of Jammu & Kashmir with real devolution of political and economic powers to all the three distinct regions, viz Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, is of paramount importance and in the best interest of the people of the state. The speaker therefore categorically dubbed all the divisive slogans and machinations as ant-people and born out of short-sightedness. Only unity and not division can ensure the speedy development of Jammu & Kashmir, Tarigami asserted.

 

The CPI(M) leader further said that discrimination in any form is totally unacceptable; however, he cautioned that the fight against discrimination does not require political fragmentation on communal lines. Regional and sub-regional discrimination can be effectively dealt with through the devolution of powers at the grassroots level. He affirmed that the slogans of trifurcation of the state are communal and exploitative in nature and, as such, need to be discarded forthwith, reiterating that the state needs a real federal structure through the constitution of autonomous regional and sub-regional units.

 

Tarigami further stressed that the right to work and livelihood should be made a basic right and that the struggle to achieve the same is the need of the hour. The administration should not be allowed to encroach upon the legitimate democratic and trade union rights of the working classes. Human rights issue remains a serious concern for the whole of our society and the government must be made accountable in this regard, the speaker emphasised.

 

After the inaugural address, the delegates session started with  the CPI(M) regional secretary Sham  Prasad  Kesar presenting a politico-organisational report, which was then discussed at length and adopted with some amendments. The report stressed on the unity of the state, devolution of powers and special attention to the areas heretofore neglected. The demand to open the Suchetgarh-Sialkot (Pakistan) road and start trade through this route found a prominent place in the report.

 

The conference report also highlighted the need to safeguard the human rights and withdrawal of AFSPA and PSA with special reference to Kashmir Valley, also asking the government to fulfil its much publicised promise of zero tolerance towards human rights violations. Improvement in living conditions of the Kashmiri migrants and their safe return to the valley was mentioned with great concern. Handing over of NPHC power projects to the state and construction of new projects on Chenab and its tributaries was demanded for the growth of industry and generation of employment. Full support was extended to the CITU in its ongoing struggle against exploitation of employees, especially Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, midday meal workers, daily wagers and casual labourers.

 

During the discussion, the delegates too expressed dismay at the current style of governance, saying that the present dispensationís promise of good governance still remains a dream. People continue to face unemployment, price rise and shortage of essential commodities, power cuts, retardation in industrial growth and lack of facilities in agriculture sector. Rampant and ever deepening corruption in public life is eating into the vitals of the state establishment and the common people are the worst sufferers. They held the fight against corruption as a good omen and demanded revitalisation of the State Accountability Commission, pleading for bringing all the sections of bureaucracy under the commissionís ambit even if it requires a review of the relevant act. Besides, the commission should be provided with its own investigative mechanism. Popular pressure needs to be mounted so that the government is forced to act with required urgency on this important issue. The delegates also demanded the availability of food at fair prices to all the families. Special care has to be taken that those who were left out in the last census should be included in the latest list and should receive ration in any case and at the earliest. The delegates criticised the government for not evolving a comprehensive and effective employment policy. The Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) has proved to be unsatisfactory. Besides demanding revival of sick public sector units, incentives for the skilled and educated youth for establishing small industrial units and recruitment to the vacant posts in government departments, the delegates also asked the government to resolve the genuine problems being faced by the refugees  who were forced to migrate and are presently living at various places in Jammu region or outside the state. They also stood for conservation and promotion of all the languages and cultures of the state as well as the launch of a Dogri channel on Doordarshan. Criticising the moves to allow FDI in retail trade as well as the policies leading to rises in the prices of essential commodities, fertilisers, seeds, petroleum and power tariff, the delegates urged the people to unite and launch powerful struggles for the achievement of their democratic and economic rights.

 

During the discussion, it was also pointed out that the problems of rice growers of Jammu region should have been included in the report prominently. As such, the problems and the remedies were duly included and underlined. It was mentioned that the border areas of Jammu produce world famous Basmati rice, which warrants the encouragement of the farmers by giving them suitable incentives.

 

The conference adopted six resolutions regarding the specific problems of farmers, revision of new pension scheme, revival of public sector undertakings, eradication of corruption, control of rising prices and safeguarding of trade union rights.

 

With 150 delegates hailing from all over the region participated in the process, the conference later elected a new regional committee with 12 out of 15 members directly, while three members were to be co-opted by the newly elected regional committee. Sham Prasad Kesar was unanimously re-elected the regional secretary for another term. The conference also elected 31 delegates for the forthcoming state conference of the party.