(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 29, 2013
Inspired by Red Flag, Lakhs Contribute Crores
M A Baby
THE unique experience of the fund drive campaign organised in Kerala, in connection with the construction of Harkishan Singh Surjeet Bhawan-EMS Research Centre at Delhi, is yet another testimony which reveals the distinctive character of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), as opposed to the political parties of the exploiting classes.
CPI(M), the party of the workers, peasants and toiling masses, collects funds mostly from the same sections, who care to donate from their meager income, to meet the requirements of their Party, as and when the Party calls for material support. Where as it is well known that the financial needs of the parties of the exploiting classes are usually taken care of by the few billionaires. Apart from these, they amass billions of rupees through naked corruption. Part of such corrupt practices are exposed through scams such as Bofors, 2G, Coalgate, Commonwealth, Adarsh etc. It is such ill-gotten amounts from scams as well as billions mobilised from the monopoly houses that are used for purchasing votes in elections. At times of crucial voting in parliamentary fora, part of such loot is used to ensure majority. While millions of ordinary people provide their small donations to our Party, the millionaires and billionaires give their millions and billions to the bourgeois-landlord parties. It should be in this background that the “hundika” collection in Kerala be surveyed.
Committee had given a
call to all its units, to donate and mobilise funds for the
setting up of a
From all over India, the response has been very encouraging. The Kerala experience was immensely inspiring. First of all, every Party committee in the state, held its meeting and the members, from state committee to branches, offered their personal contributions to their respective Party unit meeting. The members of Kerala state committee together donated over Rs Two lakhs. This was reported in each district committee and they similarly fixed the contribution amount of each DC member. This exercise continued in area committees, local committees and over 28,000 branch committees as well. Through this process, most of the Party members of the state (around four lakhs) together contributed Rs 3,06,01,145, much before the Party squads approached the general public for contributions. This means, on an average, each Party member of Kerala donated Rs 76 towards Surjeet-EMS Memorial.
September 8-9, 2013 were identified as the days for approaching the general public for “hundika”/bucket collection. Sunday, the 8th was chosen for visiting houses and on Monday, the 9th, shops and other establishments were approached.
State secretary of the Party, Pinarayi Vijayan led the squad in Pinarayi village of Kannur district. All other leaders and cadres participated in the mass fund collection campaign. Each district and area experienced noteworthy instances of people expressing their deep respect and love towards the CPI(M) and its departed leaders on whose memory the Party School and Research Centre is being set-up.
In Elayavoor village in Kannur district, an independent gram panchayat member, Thycandy Muralidharan, donated his entire monthly allowance of Rs 2,500 to the fund which he posted by money order to the district secretary of the Party.
When my squad approached a poor young cobbler, by name Suneer, in Mukkada street, Kollam district, he enthusiastically donated Rs 10, though he did not apparently have regular work. School children donated their few coins from their pocket money. Similarly, small time fishermen, vegetable vendors and others shared their few coins. Some passers-by, on their own, came forward and put their contributions – 5 or 10 rupee notes. It was a rare scene when people after making their contributions joined the squads which moved forward holding high the red flags and carrying placards with the fund calls and also the photographs of erstwhile leaders Comrade Surjeet and Comrade EMS.
In Palakkad district, at Nenmara, a villager, Pagan, donated his calf. By auction this fetched Rs 4,000. In Ernakulam district, Leila George, a housewife, donated a goat. In Mulamthuruthy, a farmer Mathew Olikkal donated rubber sheets. Veteran Party leader of Punnapra-Vayalar reputation, P K Chandranandan, donated the entire prize money (Rs 25,000) received as part of Puthuppally Raghavan award. There are innumerable such instances of Communist consciousness displayed by comrades at all levels.
The “hundika” collection of September 8-9 came to Rs 5,17,04,475. Kannur stands in the first position followed by Thrissur, Palakkad and Kollam.
It is learnt that a few more lakhs would be added to the overall collection as some more money is being received by some district committees.
On the basis of data collected on the kind of amounts and denomination (currency/coin) donated by general public, the following projection is made: one thousand rupee notes – 13,059, five hundred rupee notes – 34,825, one hundred rupee notes – 1,58,167, fifty rupee notes – 58,043, twenty rupee notes – 31,923, ten rupee notes – 15,81,674, five rupees – 13,059, two rupee and one rupee coins together – 20,314 (grand total – 19,11,064). This shows that the “hundika” collection undertaken by nearly 28,000 squads received positive response from all sections of people – middle class, lower middle class, merchants, traders, workers, peasants, agricultural labourers, government employees, teachers, youth, women, students, fishermen, cobblers, manual labourers, those who are politically sympathetic to the CPI(M) and the LDF and even the few who are not necessarily sympathisers of the CPI(M) or the LDF. The number of people approached for donation would be surely more than a million. (This has been calculated on the basis of the sample survey method. Various denominations such as one rupee coin to thousand rupee notes , collected by a squad has been counted along with the total amount collected by the squad. The same denomination pattern has been projected to the overall collection made in the entire state. Due to this there could be some variation in the distribution of denomination).
This also reveals that the financial support base of the CPI(M) is basically the poor and lower middle class people comprising of workers, peasants, employees and the suffering sections of our society. It may be recalled that in the late-seventies, when a call for building AKG Centre was given, people responded very positively and they experienced the responsible manner in which the fund was utilised by the CPI(M). Later, while setting up EMS Academy also, people of Kerala donated wholeheartedly. The permanent Party School set-up in the sprawling campus in Vilappilshala in Thiruvananthapuram is a proud asset for the permanent Party education programme in Kerala. Similarly, the people wholeheartedly cooperated for the construction of P Krishna Pillai Smarakam in Alappuzha and E K Nayanar Smarakam in Kannur. For P Krishna Pillai Smarakam, apart from cash, land and 762.5 sovereign of gold was also donated by the Party members and sympathisers in Alappuzha district.
Workers, peasants and toiling masses love Red Flag and their Party more than anything else and that inseparable bond and affection is demonstrated in the unstinted support they give to the CPI(M) through their hard work and material support. This has been demonstrated time and again, in struggles, election battles and organisational work as well as in fund raising efforts.
Only through continuous and scientifically planned study programmes accompanied by deep research projects on the changes taking place in our society, the CPI(M) can be developed as a powerful and effective mass revolutionary party. The permanent school in the name of Harkishan Singh Surjeet and Research Centre in the name of EMS Namboodiripad will strengthen the Party to carry out the relentless struggles in the ideological sphere, while carrying out massive agitations of toiling masses in political and economic spheres, in defence of their rights and against corruption, communalism and anti-people policies.