People's Democracy

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


No. 07

February 17, 2013





Impressive Programmes in Latur Draw Mass Response


Sangram More


ON February 1 and 2, 2013, a series of programmes was organised by social and educational institutions led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Latur, which is an important centre in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. On February 2, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury attended three impressive events in Latur city and in the nearby town of Killari, which was devastated by a killer earthquake in 1993.


The largest programme was a public lecture in Latur on the topic ‘Towards the 2014 General Elections’, in which over 1500 people packed the Dayanand Auditorium to capacity. The second was the concluding speech at a two-day state-level seminar on the topic ‘Political Fronts in Maharashtra’ which was organised by Shaheed Bhagat Singh College at Killari. The third was the inauguration of a girls’ hostel of the above college and its naming after Comrade Ahilya Rangnekar, a legendary leader of the CPI(M) and of the women’s movement in Maharashtra.




In the ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public Lecture’ on the 2014 general elections, Yechury said that the UPA-2 regime has become notorious for its economic policies leading to unprecedented price rise and the agrarian crisis, and also for its massive corruption scandals. But the communal BJP is no different --- in regard to its policies as well as in corruption. The Congress and the BJP are two sides of the same coin, and it is necessary to defeat both of them in the crucial electoral battle to come.


In the long run, said Yechury, it is only a Left and democratic alternative that can save the country and our people. But this will have to be built up through struggle. The coming two-day nationwide strike on February 20-21 in which all major trade unions are participating, the countrywide jathas and the March 19 all-India Delhi rally of the CPI(M) are all efforts to arouse the people, and he called upon the gathering to help make all these actions a success. He also touched upon the substantial work done by the Left-led governments in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura in favour of the people.


CPI(M) Central Committee member and former MLA Narsayya Adam dealt with the serious situation in Maharashtra. He attacked the Congress-NCP state government for its disastrous handling of issues like the grim drought, shortage of water, load-shedding of power, rights of workers and peasants and the various corruption scandals concerning irrigation and other matters.


The public lecture was presided over by senior CPI(M) leader Dr Vithal More; the introductory speeches were made by Dr Rajashekhar Solapure and Dr Sangram More; the proceedings were conducted by Prof Narsingh Yechale; and the vote of thanks was proposed by Prof Mahadev Jadhav. The audience comprised a wide cross-section of the people, including the middle class, as well as youth and students.


Sitaram Yechury also addressed a packed press conference after the lecture.




A two-day state-level seminar on the topic, ‘Political Fronts in Maharashtra’ was held at the Shaheed Bhagat Singh College at Killari under the joint auspices of the UGC and the Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University at Nanded. Over 100 selected college teachers of political science from all over the state attended this seminar.


It was inaugurated by Basavraj Patil, the local MLA; the chief guest was Dr Shivraj Nakade, former vice chancellor of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University at Aurangabad; and it was presided over by Dr Vithal More. Representatives of the three political fronts in Maharashtra placed the views of their respective parties and fronts. They were as follows: Congress-NCP – Anant Gadgil; Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI – Neelam Gorhe, Madhav Bhandari and Ramdas Athavale; Left – Jayant Patil, Ajit Abhyankar and Bhalchandra Kango. Apart from these political leaders, some prominent teachers of political science also presented their papers on the subject. The concluding session of the seminar was attended by Dr Sarjerao Nimase, vice chancellor of the S R T M University, Nanded.


In his concluding address, Sitaram Yechury said that in the country as well as in different states, political fronts were being formed, but in many cases they have no principled basis and are opportunistically formed just for the sake of gaining power. Although political fronts are necessary in the current situation, they must be based on common principles and on political morality. Today, he said, India is deeply divided into two sections – the shining India of the 20 per cent, and the suffering India of the 80 per cent. The current UPA regime is giving massive tax concessions to the rich and is heaping equally massive burdens on the poor through price rises and taxation. The entire face of the country has been distorted due to the shocking corruption scams. The scourge of communalism, casteism and terrorism is rampant and threatens to tear the country apart. Alarming atrocities on women, dalits and adivasis are on the rise. That is why a radical change must be brought about by the people in the coming general elections. Yechury appealed to teachers and students of political science to play their part in arresting this devaluation of political norms and in building a new India that is free from economic exploitation and social oppression of all kinds.




After the September 1993 killer earthquake hit Killari and adjoining areas in Latur and Usmanabad districts, a huge work of rehabilitation began. The CPI(M) and its mass fronts in Maharashtra immersed themselves in this work. The CPI(M)’s Kerala state committee donated a large sum as relief fund, and out of this the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Hostel at Killari in Latur district and the Shaheed Bhagat Singh High School at Kaldev Nimbala in Usmanabad district were built. The then Kerala chief minister E K Nayanar came to this area to inaugurate these projects. Both the institutions are being run well by the CPI(M)’s Latur and Solapur district committees respectively for the last two decades.


In course of time, more funds were collected by the CPI(M) in Latur and the Shaheed Bhagat Singh College was set up at Killari, to cater to the higher education needs of students of the earthquake-affected areas. In a short time, this college gained recognition as an ideal college in the rural areas and it recently got a ‘B’ grade from the NAAC inspection committee. The college needed a girls’ hostel, and so an application was made to the UGC for funds. These were granted. On December 31, 2011, the work of building this hostel began in the presence of CPI(M) state secretary and Central Committee member Dr Ashok Dhawale.


Sitaram Yechury inaugurated this girls’ hostel that is aptly named after Comrade Ahilya Rangnekar. This 28-room, two-storey building over an area of 4,000 square feet will accommodate about 100 girl students. On this occasion, Yechury recalled the great contribution of Ahilyatai to the movement in Maharashtra and expressed happiness that her name had been given to the hostel. He expressed the hope that the girl students who will live here will take inspiration from the life and work of Ahilyatai and will try to achieve her ideals of women’s emancipation and radical social transformation.


Among those who addressed the large gathering here were vice chancellor Dr Sarjerao Nimase, former MLA Narsayya Adam, Latur Zilla Parishad president Dattatraya Bansode and Dr Vithal More. Those present included college principal Dr G P Kapase, CITU state vice president M H Shaikh, Sudhakar Shinde, CPI(M)’s Latur district secretary and university senate member Dr Sangram More, Dr Arun Shelke, Dr Kusum More, Premgir Giri, Vishwambhar Bhosale, Sanjay More, Dr Mahesh Mote, Dr B T Deshmukh and the staff and students of the college.


All the three programmes outlined above received excellent publicity from both the print and electronic media throughout the Marathwada region.