People's Democracy

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


No. 03

January 20, 2013



 CPI(M) State Study Camp & Workshop

Gives Strong Boost to Party

Ashok Dhawale


IT was truly a study camp to remember and cherish. That was the overwhelming reaction of the delegates at the conclusion of the CPI(M) state study camp in Maharashtra that was held in Mumbai from January 12 to 14, 2013, in the Comrade P Sundarayya Birth Centenary Year. This full-fledged state camp was being held after a long time. 413 delegates from 28 districts who attended comprised Party state committee members, district committee members and whole-timers.


The venue of the camp – the Adarsh Vidyalaya in Chembur that is being run well for over five decades by the Kerala People’s Education Society (KPES) – was named after Captain Laxmi Sehgal. The hall was named after Comrade Ramji Dhule, a veteran adivasi comrade who was among the founders of the Party in the Surgana tehsil of Nashik district. And the dais was named after Comrade Ramsagar Pandey, a multi-faceted, talented leader of the Party in Mumbai district.


The study camp began on January 12 with the flag-hoisting at the hands of veteran leader and chairman of the state Control Commission, L B Dhangar, and paying of floral tributes to martyrs. CPI(M) state secretariat member and Mumbai district secretary Mahendra Singh welcomed the delegates. In the condolence resolution moved by state secretariat member Vijay Gabhane, homage was paid to Party leaders and activists, as well as prominent progressive personalities.




The programme, subjects and teachers at this state camp were as follows: January 12 – What is Marxism? and Imperialism in Our Time – CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury; January 13 – Building the Communist Party – CPI(M) central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu; Current Situation in Maharashtra and the Tasks before the Party – CPI(M) state secretary and Central Committee member Dr Ashok Dhawale; January 14 – The Challenge of Identity Politics and History of the Communist Movement in India – CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat.


All the topics were well taken and were followed by lively and interesting question-answer sessions. The various sessions in this state camp were presided over by state secretariat members K L Bajaj, J P Gavit, Dr D L Karad, Nathu Salve, Ajit Abhyankar, Udayan Sharma and Narsayya Adam respectively.




An enthusiastic workshop was held along with the state camp, in two sessions. On the evening of the first day, all the delegates grouped themselves according to their mass fronts and decided upon their tasks for the ensuing few months. On the evening of the second day, all the delegates grouped themselves according to their districts. They were to discuss and decide their district planning on the following nine points: 1. Signature campaign on the issue of food security, 2. Total mobilisation on the roads by the CPI(M) and all the mass fronts led by it, on the two days of the all India strike on February 20-21, 3. Participation in the Party jathas, culminating in the all India Delhi Rally on March 19. 4. Implementation of the state call for a Rs 50 lakh Party whole-timers fund, 5. Increase in subscription of all Party papers, 6. Stringent Party renewal for 2013, 7. Mass front membership for the coming year, 8. Dates of the district Party study camps, and 9. Clearance of Party literature dues.


After an hour-long discussion in each district delegation, one comrade from each district and each state level mass front had to briefly report to all the delegates on what had been decided. This session was one of the most inspiring in the state camp. For instance, taking the total of all the districts: 1. Over 10 lakh signatures will be collected in Maharashtra on the issue of food security; 2. Over 2,80,000 people owing allegiance to the CPI(M) and the mass fronts will actually come out on the roads during the all India strike on February 20-21; 3. Apart from the two main Western and Southern jathas that will cross Maharashtra, four more sub-jathas will traverse Vidarbha, Marathwada and Western Maharashtra and will merge in the two main jathas; 4. The mobilisation from Maharashtra for the Delhi Rally on March 19 will exceed 10,000; 5. Over Rs 60 lakhs will be collected for the Party whole-timers fund in the state; 6. There will be a substantial increase in the circulation of all the Party papers in the next three months; 7. The Party renewal campaign for 2013 will be taken up with all seriousness this year; 8. There will be a substantial increase in mass front membership in the coming year, and 9. District study camps will be organised everywhere by June.




One of the highlights of this camp was the publication by Sitaram Yechury of the pamphlets in the Party Education Series brought out by the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee in Marathi. A series of 12 pamphlets on various topics has been decided by the Party Education and Publications Sub-Committee to serve as the syllabus for Party education in Maharashtra. The first four of these pamphlets were published and sold in this camp.


They were as follows: 1. The Challenge of Identity Politics, by Prakash Karat; 2. Imperialism in Our Time, by Sitaram Yechury, 3. Marxist Political Economy, by Dr Kishore Theckedath; 4. Our Concept of the Indian Revolution (CPI-M Party Programme), by Dr Ashok Dhawale. Another note was translated and given to all, and this was On Building the Party by Nilotpal Basu. The translations were done fast and well by two members of the Jeevanmarg editorial board, Dr Uday Narkar and Shobha Theckedath. The remaining titles in the Party Education Series will also be published soon.


Another small pamphlet on The Importance and Functioning of Party Whole-Timers which is a resolution of the state committee that was finalised after a state whole-timers workshop held last year, was also published and sold during this state camp.




The last state committee meeting at Talasari in Thane district in October 2012 had given a call for the collection of a Rs 50 lakh Party whole-timers state fund by means of cash collections from the people, and by advertisements for the 2013 special issue of the Party journal Jeevanmarg. Five years ago, in response to a similar call by the state committee, Rs 40 lakhs had been raised.


The state committee has decided that every Party member in the state will contribute at least one day’s wage to this fund. So a call was given to comrades in the study camp to make their maximum contributions, and a strong beginning was made by members of the Central Committee and state committee, whose total contribution exceeded Rs 50,000. Over Rs 7,00,000 was collected as part of this fund both by way of cash and advertisements, and this enthused the delegates.


Another Rs 50,000-odd was collected by way of over 200 subscriptions to the various Party weeklies. The progressive literature sold from the Party book stall was worth over Rs 17,000, apart from the amount of Rs 20,000-odd paid by the delegates for the Party Education Series pamphlets.




In a hectic programme, some other brief and business-like meetings were also held during this state camp. Apart from meetings of the Party state secretariat and the state committee, a separate meeting of all Party whole-timers and another one of writers for the state Party weekly Jeevanmarg, were held. To help the four weaker mass fronts in the state, two separate meetings of the state and district Party leadership with the state leadership of the student and youth fronts, and with the state leadership of the agricultural workers and women’s fronts, were held. All these meetings concluded only after taking certain concrete decisions for improvement.


Anand Wingkar, a progressive dalit poet and novelist, who has for long been a member of the CPI(M), recently won a number of literary awards for his Marathi novel set against the background of peasant suicides. The novel is called A Story in the Time of Unseasonal Rains. Anand Wingkar was warmly felicitated by Prakash Karat amidst cheers. Anand donated Rs 10,000 to the Party fund.


At the request of the state committee, the CPI(M) West Bengal state committee had sent 300 new Ganashakti diaries. These were distributed to the delegates and were greatly appreciated by all.




The credentials report was painstakingly prepared by students of the Party’s Research unit. Its main features were as follows: Of the 413 delegates, 44 were female and 369 were male. Age: Below 30 years – 23, 31-40 – 104, 41-50 – 122, 51-60 – 100, 61-70 – 55, Above 71 years – 9. Education: Upto 5th standard – 50, 5th to 10th – 134, 10th to 12th – 68, 12th to graduate – 87, Post-graduate and above – 74. Class background: Working class – 104, Agricultural labour – 74, Poor peasant – 121, Middle peasant – 63, Rich peasant – 1, Middle class – 50. Social Background: Adivasis – 85, Dalits – 62, Minorities – 34, Nomadic Tribes – 28, OBC – 74. Year of Joining Party: Before 1964 – 5, 1965-77 – 36, 1978-90 – 156, 1991-2000 – 109, 2001-10 – 94, After 2010 – 13. Present Mass Front: Trade Union – 161, Kisan – 145, Agricultural Worker – 34, Youth – 32, Women – 21, Student – 10, Others – 10. Subscribers to Party papers: Jeevanmarg – 313, Loklahar – 85, People’s Democracy – 51, Marxist – 32, Others – 17. Police cases in agitations: 86 comrades had 1 to 3 police cases against them, 25 had 4 to 5 cases and 19 had more than 5 cases. Jail Life: 124 comrades had been in jail for varying periods.  Elected Representatives: 55 comrades were elected representatives at various levels.


The chairman of the last session of the study camp, Narsayya Adam, delivered an inspiring concluding address. He congratulated all the delegates for making this a truly memorable camp and expressed confidence that it will go a long way in giving a strong boost to the Party in Maharashtra.


CPI(M) state secretariat member Mariam Dhawale and Mumbai district secretariat member Dr S K Rege proposed the vote of thanks. The CPI(M) Mumbai committee, the KPES and the volunteers had made excellent arrangements for the success of this state camp. The camp concluded with a spirited rendering of the Internationale, amidst resounding cheers and slogans.