People's Democracy

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


No. 08

February 19, 2012



Aiming to Overcome Hard Times


From Our

Special Correspondent


THE 23rd state conference of the CPI(M) West Bengal state committee commenced at Kolkata on Feburary 15 with the hoisting of the Red flag of the Party and offering of floral tributes to the martyrs who have sacrificed their lives to carry forward the ideology of the Party. The Red flag of the Party was hoisted by Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Party. The Polit Bureau members including the general secretary of the Party Prakash Karat, West Bengal state secretary Biman Basu, Sitaram Yechury, K Vardarajan, Buddhadev Bhattacharya, Brinda Karat, Md. Amin and. Nirupam Sen offered floral tributes to the martyrs on the martyrs’ column. The other delegates also paid their homage to the martyrs by offering flowers in background tune of “La Marseille”.


The conference is being held at Comrade Jyoti Basu Nagar (Kolkata) and Comrade Harkishen Singh Surjeet Manch (Pramod Dasgupta Bhawan). To conduct the proceedings of the conference, the following comrades were elected in the presidium: Benoy Konar, Bonani Biswas, Md. Salim, Rupchand Murmu and Dinesh Dakua.


At the beginning of the delegate session condolence resolution was moved in memory of Comrade Jyoti Basu, Comrade Harkishen Singh Surjeet, Comrade M K Pandhe, three Polit Bureau members of the Party, Comrade Subhash Chakraborty, secretariat member of West Bengal CPI(M), who died after the last state conference. The condolence resolution also remembered all great personalities from politics, arts, literature and sports who passed away since the last state conference was held. A martyrs’ resolution was also moved at the conference, remembering the sacrifices of all those who were martyred while keeping high the banner of the Party and Marxism-Leninism.


Prakash Karat, in his inaugural speech explained the major trends in international and national situation.  Karat said that imperialism was trying to shift the burden of the crisis on to the people, thereby triggering protests. Imperialism has also become more aggressive. In India, the task of the Left is to rally wider sections in the struggle against imperialism so as to thwart their increasing influence and intervention.


Karat said the recent electoral debacles have weakened the intervening power of the Left. To overcome this situation and to move forward, the first task is to increase the independent activities of CPI(M). The Party has to develop struggles on local issues and to stand beside the most affected sections of the people, including the unorganised working class and the rural poor. Secondly,  the Party has to move forward to develop Left and democratic unity, which is not merely a slogan for propaganda. To achieve that, Left unity must be strengthened and other democratic forces  rallied. Thirdly, in the present situation Party should develop issue-based movements with non-Congress and non-BJP parties without nurturing any illusion of Third Front at this juncture.


Karat called for intensive connect with the people to regain the support base in West Bengal. He said rectification in the Party is a must. Party in West Bengal has gone through many trials. A total of 577 comrades have laid down their lives after the last conference itself. The Party in West Bengal has developed through mighty struggles of the people. They will be able to change the current difficult situation and emerge stronger.


Biman Basu, secretary of the state committee of the CPI(M) placed the political-organisational report in the conference. While placing the report, Basu mentioned that since the last conference and up till April 2011, 506 comrades were martyred. Since the new government came to power in May 2011, another 56 comrades have been martyred. These comrades were martyred because they were fighting to keep high the Red flag of the Party. The Party has to live up to the sacrifices of these comrades. The Party has to rectify the mistakes and emerge as an ideologically and politically strong party with an increased mass base amongst the poor people. Basu also pointed out that the policies pursued by the TMC-led state government are no different from the policies pursued by the central government, which are basically anti-people policies. In the coming days, the Party has to struggle and mobilise people against these anti-people policies being pursued by both the central and state governments.


This conference is being held in the backdrop of severe attacks on democracy and the Left movement in the state. The report points out that from the very day election results were announced, widespread attacks against the Party started. Large areas of 8 districts witnessed such attacks, along with the other districts which were partially affected, either more or less. After the elections, 55 comrades of the Left Front have been martyred, 11 forced to commit suicide, 23 raped, 513 women molested and 757 women physically assaulted. Apart from this, 4598 comrades have been seriously injured. Among the 40,096 displaced, 22,756 persons have returned to their localities but they had to forego their democratic rights and pay fines to stay in their homes. According to reports received, the fines exacted from them amount to nearly Rs 28 crore rupees. The right to till their own land has been taken away from 3418 peasants who had 9222 acres. Over 27,254 bargadars and pattadars have been deprived of 9404 acres of land. There have been 2819 incidents of looting, arson and destruction of houses. 588 CPI(M) offices and 214 offices of trade unions and other organisations have been damaged, occupied or locked up. 14 conferences of the Party at different levels, recently held, have been attacked. Even section 144 has been applied to stop conferences. 96 students’ union offices were occupied and the elected office-bearers driven out. Making a farce of union elections and physical assaults on students, principals and teachers go on unchecked. 248 boards of the Ganashakti daily were damaged and its sale forcibly stopped in several areas. 3200 people, including Susanta Ghosh, were arrested in false cases including the discoveries of planted weapons and planted skeletons etc. State committee members and sitting MLAs are among 6000 leading comrades at different levels who have been implicated in such false cases. Continuous efforts are on to implicate others. 391 members of village panchayats and 20 members of panchayat samitis have been forced to resign. 401 persons at these two levels have been forced to leave their parties. 596 panchayats, in spite of having a Left Front majority, are now being forced to act according to Trinamool diktat. In the governance of panchayats, powers of people’s representatives are being curtailed and the bureaucracy given prominence. In cooperatives, schools, colleges and universities, the democratic system of governance is being destroyed by muscle power, ordinances and amendments of acts and the party dominance of the Trinamool is being foisted. 


In the deliberations, delegates discussed how they were facing the onslaught and reorganising the Party.


(Detailed report of the conference will appear in the next issue - - Ed)