People's Democracy

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


No. 41

October 13, 2013






DYFI-SFI State Convention

Resolves to Launch Big Struggles


Preethy Sekhar


A STATE-level student and youth convention organised jointly by the DYFI and SFI at the CITU Kamgar Bhawan in Nashik on September 29, 2013 decided to launch big struggles on the burning issues of acute unemployment and rampant commercialisation of education in Maharashtra. The enthusiastic convention was attended by over 650 student-youth activists from 14 districts.


Inaugurating the convention, Dr Ashok Dhawale, former state secretary and former all India vice president of the SFI and DYFI, briefly traced ruling class policies in India as regards education and employment from British colonial times and stressed the big contribution made by social reformers like Mahatma Jotirao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Shahu Maharaj, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil, Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve and many others. He said that vigorous implementation of neo-liberal policies in the state has pushed the youth and student community into deep crisis.  He drew attention to the fact that growing joblessness in the state is coupled with socially unjust distribution pattern in available jobs, thus alienating dalit, adivasi and minority youth. Due to slashing of public expenditure and encouragement given to private education sharks, education has become extremely costly and it is now not accessible to children from ordinary families. In today’s era of crony capitalism, a new varna system based on money is being created and millions of modern-day Shambukas and Ekalavyas are bearing the brunt of it. Dr Ashok Dhawale expressed solidarity with the youth and student movements which are preparing to launch big struggles on the issues of unemployment and education.


Dr V Sivadasan, all-India president of SFI, said that government withdrawal from education and its handing over the sector to private profiteers has created havoc in the life of the student community all over the country. As an associated phenomenon, we see drastic curtailment of democratic rights within campuses with a view to thwart the student community’s resistance against commercialisation.


Dr Vineet Kohli, Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, highlighted the growth of unemployment in rural Maharashtra and explained the skewed implementation of NREGA in the state to benefit the rural rich. He also explained the effects of recession on the urban employment scenario.


A presidium comprising DYFI state president Bhagwan Bhojane, SFI state president Dr Bhausaheb Zirpe, Bhika Rathod, Naresh Shingade and Datta Chavan conducted the proceedings. DYFI state secretary Preethy Sekhar and SFI state secretary Vinod Govindwar presented resolutions on employment and education respectively. All district delegations discussed the resolutions and gave suggestions. Most suggestions were accepted and the resolutions were adopted unanimously amidst cheers and slogans.


The resolutions called upon the state’s youth and students to defeat through militant struggles, government policies that are causing massive unemployment and rapid commercialisation of education. Imperialist-driven neo-liberal policies adopted by India’s ruling classes stipulate that government has no responsibility to create employment or provide education. Maharashtra is a state where these policies are vigorously implemented by the Congress-NCP state government. The main opposition political parties like Shiv Sena, BJP and MNS also uphold the same anti-people policies. What is more, their politics of communalism and regional chauvinism is meant to disarm and divert the people from putting up resistance against the onslaught of unemployment. It is in such a situation that DYFI and SFI have to mobilise youth and students from all community backgrounds to reverse government’s harmful policies. 


The agrarian sector has been in an especially deep crisis in Maharashtra. As a result, rural unemployment has rapidly increased. Large sections of urban youth are pushed to the informal sector which does not give job security or good wages or decent living conditions. The informal sector has a disproportionate share of youth belonging to dalit, adivasi and minority communities which have faced systematic exclusion from good jobs in the modern organised sector.


Now, with recession the crisis is coming to the industrial sector. This is leading to increasing unemployment in urban areas. It is for the government to intervene in agriculture and industry with a view to creating employment but it has shown no concern about the worsening situation. The government’s criminal negligence is most glaring in the ban on recruitment, both declared and undeclared. More than 30 percent posts in the state government sector are vacant.


The Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2012-13 reveals that there are lakhs of notified vacancies in the state government sector. When it comes to local self government bodies, the percentage of unfilled vacancies is nearly 40 percent. Around nine lakh youth who have completed D.T.Ed, B. Ed, B.P.Ed, Fine Arts Degree are today unemployed since government has stopped recruitment. NREGA is very poorly implemented in the state and handed over to contractors who eat up a large portion of the wages.


In the charter of demands on employment, the most important point was the demand to fill vacant posts in state government, local bodies and state PSUs. Bringing in urban employment guarantee Act, better implementation of rural employment guarantee Act, modernisation of employment exchanges, compelling private firms to publish vacancies through employment exchanges were the other demands.


Reversing expenditure cuts in government educational institutions, hostels and scholarships, implementation of the provisions of Right to Education Act and withdrawal of the private self-financed universities bill figured prominently in the charter of demands on education.


Special demands of adivasi, dalit and minority youth and students were included in both charters.


The convention decided on a plan of action to mobilise youth and students in a big way in the movement. The campaign will start in campuses, towns and villages in the month of October, followed by district/taluka level rallies in early November. A large statewide rally will be held in Mumbai on November 29 and the charter of demands will be submitted to the state government. The struggle on specific demands will continue in different forms after December.


The convention also decided to prepare a draft urban employment guarantee bill for Maharashtra state with the help of pro-people economists, retired administrative officers and legal experts. It concluded with a spirited speech by former DYFI state secretary Shailendra Kamble.


The DYFI and SFI in Maharashtra are determined to mobilise youth and students in a big way to put up a militant resistance against commercialisation of education and policies creating unemployment.