People's Democracy

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


No. 37

September 16, 2012





DYFI State Conference Concludes Amid Enthusiasm


Tejal Kanitkar


THE Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) organised its ninth Maharashtra state conference on August 24 and 25, at Mahur in Nanded district, amidst great zeal and enthusiasm. The conference venue was named after Ashfaqulla Khan, the great martyr of India’s freedom struggle, and the conference hall was named after Comrade Lakshmi Sehgal. The name of late Comrade Bhagwan Kharat, a militant DYFI activist of Aurangabad, was given to the dais.


The conference started with a procession which begun from the MSEB junction and passed through various areas of the Mahur. The awe of the onlookers was evident at the sight of such a large mass of young men and women passing through their villages waiving flags, shouting slogans and accompanied by an excellent cultural group, which kept the fervour high with songs that spoke of the revolution.


The public meeting, which followed the rally, was chaired by Vijay Patil, president of the DYFI’s Maharashtra state committee. He spoke about the vision and strategies of the DYFI and the work undertaken in the past as well as future plans to address fundamental issues such as unemployment, education and other problems facing the youth today. The keynote speaker was DYFI general secretary Tapas Sinha who made a reference to the legacy of the DYFI. He emphasised that the DYFI is taking forward the legacy left behind by great revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and Ashfaqulla Khan. He reminded the audience that the DYFI had always fought for preserving and strengthening national integration and thousands of its members have become martyrs during the struggle against sectarian, communal and feudal forces. Sinha strongly criticised the Congress led governments, both at the centre and in the state. He explained the importance of the role played by the Left parties during the UPA-1 regime and the logic behind the decision of the Left to support the Congress as an imperative for keeping the communal and sectarian forces away from power. Having referred to the neo-liberal policies if the UPA-2 regime, Sinha made an appeal to the youth to organise against and defeat these policies which favour the bourgeoisie at the cost of the working masses of this country.


Ashok Dhawale, a former office-bearer of the DYFI and at present secretary of the Maharashtra state unit of the CPI(M), dwelt on the destructive role of Congress led governments at the centre and in Maharashtra. He spoke about the increasing number of farmer suicides, increasing unemployment and inflation and the inaccessibility of education for the poor. Also, he sharply criticised the communal, sectarian and parochial forces in the country be they saffron or any other colour. Dhawale stressed on the need to unite against all such problems.


Mahendra Singh, founding secretary of DYFI in Maharashtra, presented a sharp critique of the neo-liberal policies of the government. He pointed out the tremendous loot of public wealth by the unholy alliance between the political class, bureaucrats and the bourgeoisie. On the one hand, the working class is exploited, farmers are committing suicide and on the other hand, the big business houses are raking millions of rupees in the form of state subsidies. Maharashtra state secretary Shailendra Kamble, state vice president Preethy Shekhar, Vijay Gabhane of the CITU and Arjun Aade of Kisan Sabha also spoke at the public meeting.


Vijay Patil hoisted the DYFI flag marking the beginning of delegates session. Rajendra Loni welcomed the delegates and thanked the DYFI state committee for choosing Mahur as the venue for the conference. Tapas Sinha, in his inaugural speech, talked of how to strengthen and widen the organisation. He emphasised on the importance of primary units and the need to build such units and making them functional in the villages, towns and cities of the state. He spoke about the importance of taking up local issues, organising sports and cultural activities and engaging the youth in the activities of the organisation. He assured that consistent work towards this end would result in the widening of the organisation.


Ashok Dhawale spoke about the qualities required of an organisation leader --- that he needs to be soft spoken, clear, cool headed and inclusive. He spoke about the uniqueness of Bhagat Singh’s passion for books and his consistent effort to increase his knowledge in whatever time was available to him. He said this is a quality that all leaders must imbibe as it not only increases their knowledge but also provides them with the ammunition to resist the ideological offensives from the right wing.


Shailendra Kamble presented the report of past three years of work by the state committee before the conference delegates. He spoke about the work of the conference with the backdrop of the political situation in the world, the country as well as the state.


The discussion on the report lasted for about five hours, during which 58 delegates spoke at length, giving suggestions for improvement in the working of the organisation, based on their experiences. A total of eight resolutions were passed in the conference: (i) the demand to start recruitment in government offices, (ii) the demand to stop the commercialisation of education, (iii) the need for opposing imperialism, terrorism and communalism, (iv) the demand to stop the privatisation of healthcare, (v) the demand for universalisation of the public distribution system, (vi) the need for all youth to unite against corruption, (vii) the need to unite on the question of gender equality and to oppose gender violence, and (viii) the demand to stop the privatisation of water. All these resolutions were adopted unanimously.


Ajay Burande presented the report of the credentials committee. It said that a total of 262 delegates were present at the conference, of which 252 were men and ten were women. Akash Bagul presented the accounts.


The conference unanimously elected a new 35 member state committee which in turn elected a 13 member state secretariat with Bhagwan Bhojne as president, Preety as secretary and Bhaskar Patil as treasurer. A passionate felicitation programme was held for eight members of the outgoing state committee who retired in the conference. They were Shailendra Kamble, Vijay Patil, Akash Bagul, K Narayanan, Vasant Bagul, Shivaji Kumbhar, Satish Nayar and Subhash Pande.


Janardhan Kale proposed the vote of thanks.


Uddhav Bhawalkar of the CITU, Arhun Aade of the Kisan Sabha and Vinod Govindkar of SFI greeted the conference. A message of solidarity from the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) was read out.


DYFI activists, with wholehearted support from Kisan Sabha and CPI(M) activists in Mahur, had toiled hard to make the conference a landmark event. The entire Mahur area was decorated with flags, wall paintings and banners.  The numerous stones painted in white and with the name DYFI painted on them all along the roads in the mountainous terrain around the venue created a perfect ambience for the conference.  Revolutionary songs by Praja Natya Mandali, a cultural troupe from Solapur, stole the hearts of not just delegates but the residents of Mahur at large. DYFI activists who came from various parts of Maharashtra bid adieu to Mahur with confidence and determination to expand the organisation fast through struggles and movements in the coming day.