People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 04, 2007
Bengal DYFI Holds Successful 14th State Conference
THE Bengal unit of the DYFI held its 14th state conference in Kolkata at the Mahajati Sadan auditorium (renamed Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar) during January 8-10, 2007. The state conference pledged to take the democratic youth movement forward and work towards the development of Bengal as well.
The state conference was inaugurated by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP Sitaram Yechury who spoke on the political scenario at the national level. Earlier the state conference got off to a start with a massive rally of the youth held at the Brigade Parade Grounds. This was the first DYFI rally organised at this sprawling expanse of green right in the midst of the metropolis.
Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was the principal speaker at the open session. Buddhadeb began by saying that millions of unemployed youth looked at the pro-people and pro-poor Left Front government to create jobs. The government could hardly turn its face away and adopt a posture of satisfied inertia. Exhorting upon the youth to realise the depth of the issue of industrialisation, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau member pointed out that the process was also a response to the principal demand of the youth for employment. “The mass of the people are with us when we are seeking to go on the path of industrial development”, pointed out the Bengal chief minister.
Stringently critical of the Bengal opposition whom he dubbed ‘irresponsible and destructive,’ Buddhadeb said that they should know how additionality of employment was becoming less and less of a possibility in the saturated field of agriculture. Industrialisation would not only be the ‘next step,’ but it would also create jobs in trade and commerce, and the infrastructural component of the development as well. The issue was not a concern about a political party: it involved the future of the state itself.
Underlining the considerable achievement that the state could chalk up during the pro-people governance of the state LF government – successive tenures marked by the twin processes of land reforms and agricultural growth – Buddhadeb said there must not be any swing of priorities existing in agriculture. The agricultural base, solid and growing, which has helped create a strong and flourishing rural market, must be utilised to build up a policy of industrialisation and urbanisation, with its additionality of components of employment generation.
Buddhadeb summarised the logistics of the automobile project at Singur and said that the people there and elsewhere would benefit greatly from the direct and ancillary jobs that would be generated. Buddhadeb also listed up the number of industrial projects that would come up shortly across Bengal. All-India secretary of the organisation, Tapas Sinha, state secretary Asitanga Ganguly, and state president Abdul Hai (who also presided over the rally), too, spoke on the occasion.
In his inaugural address, Sitaram Yechury came heavily down on the policies and practices of the Congress-run UPA government. He also pointed out that in a situation where the Left was represented in strength in the parliament, pressure were being brought to bear on the union government to mend its ways.
Yechury noted how the UPA government was becoming increasingly anti-people in its haste to implement the neo-liberal economic policies under the dictates of imperialist globalisation. He identified the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) as the Laxman Rekha beyond which the UPA government should not step out. He said that the Left could achieve a degree of success in influencing the union government on issues that touched the people. These included the REGA and stopping disinvestment in public sector units etc. The three months that the Left stayed away from the coordination committee meetings made the UPA government sit up, take notice, and make a return of sorts to the CMP’ compulsions. Such achievements of the Left would make the right reactionaries press the panic button and the BJP and its NDA cohorts were no exceptions in this regard.
Sitaram Yechury explained how pro-people programmes would remain so only in paper unless democratic and mass movements were built up to force their implementation. The opposition that the Left could build up at the national level was premised on this. The CPI(M) leader said that the CMP spoke clearly on the pursuit of an independent foreign policy. Yet, the UPA government subsequently succumbed to imperialist pressures and it has since started to lean towards the United States in fashioning the national foreign policy imperatives.
Sitaram Yechury identified industrialisation as an important boost to development and said that the Left Front government in Bengal would proceed cautiously and would plan from below, from the grassroots’ level. The kisans affected by takeover of land parcels must be provided rehabilitation by involving them in the process of industrialisation itself.
The speaker noted that the compensation package worked out by the Bengal LF government for the automotive factory at Singur would set an example before the rest of the country. The speaker was critical of the misinformation being spread about the policy of industrialisation of the Bengal LF government and condemned the policy of violence and hatred seen recently at Nandigram in Midnapore east.
Sitaram Yechury concluded his address by exhorting upon the youth to organise the masses against the neo-liberal economic policies and against social abuse. Like at the gates of factories, the Red Flag must also fly at the wells so that the dalits were not deprived of their right to share the water with other villagers, he said.
The state conference was orchestrated by a presidium of Abdul Hai, Somsubhra Gupta, Joy Chakraborty, Shyamal Maiti, Samar Mukherjee, Dipankar Chakraborty, and Aparna Purkait. Addressing the inaugural session were all-India DYFI president K N Balagopal, state DYFI secretary Asitanga Ganguly who presented the secretarial report, state CITU secretary Kali Ghosh, state AIKS secretary Samar Baora, state AIDWA secretary Minati Ghosh, state SFI secretary, Apurba Chatterjee, and Tripura state DYFI secretary Tapas Dutta. Tapas Chatterjee welcomed the delegates.
The report mentioned how the recent times had seen the Bengal opposition aided by other forces of reaction had indulged in murder and mayhem to upset the development of the state. The report spoke about political movements being launched across Bengal to counter the conspiracies and to ensure that nothing interfered with the development of the state. The report condemned the ill-gotten moves of the forces of sectarianism and separatism.
The aim of the ultras was to strengthen the hands of the forces of right reaction against the Left, the report noted. The DYFI pledged to engage itself in a house-to-house campaign on the issue of industrialisation as it was a way to a brighter future. The Bengal DYFI would also launch movements to pressurise the UPA government to adhere to the CMP.
The anti-imperialist struggle would be made even more popular as part of the daily struggle of the mass of the people. The state conference also emphasised such issues and imperatives as educational growth, especially the total literacy movement, formation of a national youth policy, one-third reservation for women, and it supported the ongoing struggle of the chatkal mazdoors.
The state conference called for a further increase in the membership of the Bengal DYFI to the point where the organisation will have in its membership one-third of the youth of the state. One-third of the organisation’s strength must come from women. All committees must have 20 per cent women represented. The delegation to each conference of each unit must have 20 per cent women as delegates.
Of the total 884 delegates at the conference, 179 were women as were 20 out of the 55 who took part in discussion on the secretarial report. The present strength of the Bengal DYFI is 89,93,304 i.e., one-fourth of the number of youth of Bengal. The conference elected a 106-member state committee and a 23-member secretariat. The new state president is Pratim Ghosh. Avas Roychaudhury is the new state secretary. 239 delegates of Bengal DYFI for the all-India conference in Chennai were elected in the conference. (B P)