People's Democracy

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


No. 26

July 01, 2012




Indian Communists Hold 16th Conference



Harsev Bains


HELD at the Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet Hall in Leicester, United Kingdom, on June 23 and 24, 2012, the 16th national conference of the Association of Indian Communists, Great Britain (AIC) has provided new confidence and determination to strive for the priority tasks set by the conference and the key tasks set by the recent 20th congress of the CPI(M).


A total of 55 delegates and eight observers, apart from two guests, representing 13 out of the 15 units of the AIC across Britain and Ireland attended the conference.


The conference, organised after the 20th congress of the CPI(M), took the opportunity to receive a report on the international and national developments from Sitaram Yechury, member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau and editor of People’s Democracy.


Yechury also made key interventions in guiding the debate of the conference and provided a detailed analysis of the global crisis of capitalism. “This has resoundingly vindicated the CPI(M)’s Marxist-Leninist understanding that capitalism can never be a system free from either human exploitation or crises,” he asserted.


Yechury went on to outline the alternative to the crisis in India, by strengthening the Left and democratic forces. He explained the need to challenge the ideological onslaught of imperialism over the last two decades in its failed tirades against Marxism-Leninism and communism.


He called for the strengthening of the Left and democratic forces through militant struggles, by combining those against social oppression and those against economic exploitation. “We need to take these two in combination simultaneously in order to advance the class struggle in India,” through parliamentary and extra parliamentary activities. The serious issues effecting dalits should not be left for the bourgeois parties to exploit them for narrow political gains.  He warned of the divisive nature of identity politics.


Yechury also called for strengthening the worker-peasant alliance and defeating the aspirations of the communal forces of disrupting the unity of the working people on which we base our struggle for fundamental social transformations. To overthrow the capitalist system of exploitation and build a Left and democratic alternative will require an increase in the independent influence and strength of the working class and its organisation.


As many as 38 delegates took part in the discussion on the report of the executive committee over two days, June 23 and 24, enriching it on the basis of their ground level experiences. The EC report was presented by Harsev Bains due to the ill health of the AIC secretary Avtar Sadiq.


The 16th conference endorsed the call to organise centenary celebrations of the formation of Ghadar Party and of the birth of Comrade P Sundarayya.


The delegates were highly appreciative of the momentous tour of Britain by Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI(M), and his engaging with all the units of the AIC here. It noted with pride the ideological intervention by Sitaram Yechury and the catalyst effect of his visit to Cambridge in expansion of the base of the AIC. The UK tour of M A Baby in the first week of June drew new cadre to the AIC and galvanised the organisation. The new members, mainly from the sunny shores of Kerala united on one platform as members of the AIC, to promote the policies and programme of the CPI(M).


The problems of employment, trade union representation, racial discrimination, racist immigration laws and the poor support and service received from the Indian High Commission and its consulates would be among the issues to be taken up by the Indian Workers’ Association Great Britain in the coming days.


The conference endorsed the call given at the public rally by Robert Griffiths, general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, to jointly mobilise for the largest manifestation of people opposed to the austerity measures of the unelected Con–Dem government on October 20 in London.


The AIC will support the formation of a student organisation to address the multifaceted problems facing especially foreign students in Britain. Other youth issues too will be taken up in collaboration with the Indian Workers Association (IWA) in the country.


The formation of a cultural front to provide a democratic, progressive and secular alternative to the barbaric culture of imperialism will also be a key task for the AIC. The newly elected executive committee will discuss the mechanisms of building on the traditions of the Progressive Writers Association (PWA) and Chethna art lovers association.


The AIC has committed the EC to encourage all its units to form branches of the Association of Indian Women (AIW) and increase the number of female delegates to the conference.


The conference elected a new Executive Committee and endorsed the report unanimously.


The delegates elected a new Executive Committee which in turn elected a new secretariat with Avtar Sadiq, Joginder Bains, Gurmel Singh and Dyal Bagri as members and Harsev Bains as secretary.


The 16th conference of the Association of Indian Communists drew to a close, full of confidence and determination to discharge the tasks and responsibilities for the next three years.


Other Executive Committee members are Rajinder Bains (treasurer) Balwant Herian, Mohinder Singh, Mohinder Farma, Carmel Miranda and Manjit Bola. The special invitees are Baiju Thittala, Sughathan, Sreekumar, Ajith Naryanan and Aby Abraham. Seats have been left vacant in the EC for Glasgow, Birmingham, North and South London. Veterans are Joginder Singh, Sarwan Singh, Harbhajan Dulay and Nazar Basran.


Sitaram Yechury inaugurated the new website of the AIC, providing a portal gateway for a socialist platform:


It will be remembered that the AIC was established by comrades living in Britain, who until then worked as members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). The first meeting of the representatives was held in London on  September 18, 1966, in the presence of the late Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet, at that time a member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). This meeting unanimously decided to form an organisation called “Association of Indian Communists of Great Britain,” consisting of those comrades who owe allegiance to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).


The five key objectives of the AIC were the following:


1) To educate Indian workers in the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism.

2) To popularise the programme and policies of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

3) To strengthen the Indian Workers Association as a united and democratic organisation of Indian workers in Great Britain.

4) To help the Indian workers to become a part of the British

trade union movement.

5) To cooperate with the progressive and democratic movements of the people as well as the communist movement in Great Britain.