West Bengal Plenum Vows To Strengthen Mass Activity

From our special correspondent

CPI(M) West Bengal Plenum has decided to vigorously pursue mass line to widen the mass base of the Party. The plenum has called upon all Party workers to go to the masses, learn from them and be worthy of their trust.

The two day plenum was held on September 30 and October 1 at Promode Dasgupta Bhavan in Kolkata. 378 delegates participated in the plenum. Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau members Prakash Karat, Manik Sarkar, M A Baby, Hannan Mollah were present. A presidium consisting of Biman Basu, Md Salim, Minati Ghosh and Ramchandra Dome conducted the proceedings. State secretary Surjyakanta Misra placed the draft report and explained the main points. The draft report of the plenum was discussed at state and district committee levels and many amendments, proposals and suggestions were sent. In the session itself, 35 comrades discussed on the report and 54 amendments were placed.

Surjyakanta Misra, explaining the decisions of the plenum after its conclusion, said that CPI(M) will resolutely follow mass line in the state. Party workers will go to the masses, engage with them more intensely, learn from them and go back to them. Political slogans, concrete demands of struggle should be decided after consultation with people. Party workers will stand beside the people in every aspect of life. The revolutionary character of the Party will be maintained. The Party will become a Party of the active members only. To thoroughly activate the Party and to rejuvenate contacts with people, the number of intermediary committees will be reduced. There will be one committee between district committee and branches. District committees will prepare a roadmap for this. Party branches will be given top priority and higher committee members will guide branches too.  Priority will be given to younger sections and by 2018, at least 20 percent of Party members will be below 31. At the same time at least 25 percent of Party members will be women, as they are evidently in the forefront of struggles in the state now. Class and social character would be emphasised during recruitment in the Party. The plenum has also decided to identify priority areas and priority fronts in specific areas.

The main organisational resolution adopted in the plenum called upon Party workers to build up local level movements and link them with the movement at the state and national level. Through developing these struggles, Left and democratic front should be strengthened and broader mobilisation against authoritarianism and communalism on a wide platform will have to be achieved. 

Sitaram Yechury, in his intervention, noted the rightward shift on the international scale and said, in many countries far right forces are gaining ground. The continuing crisis of world economy is creating mass discontent. In some cases, the working people have come onto the streets to defend their rights. In others, far right forces are taking advantage of this frustration. Only Communists can turn these struggles against imperialism. To contribute to this worldwide struggle, Indian communists have to strengthen themselves in the country, fight against right wing forces resolutely. Yechury commented that without a strong Party and movement in West Bengal, the task of Communists in India will be unfulfilled.

He said, there is perceptible crisis in the economy of the country. Fiscal deficit has reached to two-thirds of the projected limit in five months only. There is decline in industrial production, crisis in agriculture, lowest rate of employment generation. In this background, jingoism is being resorted to. While it is absolutely necessary to defend from cross border terrorism, India should exercise diplomatic pressure rather than war mongering. BJP will try to convert this jingoism to minority bashing and communal polarisation. This is their political agenda.

BJP is the political arm of RSS which has a fascistic agenda of establishing Hindu Rashtra. It will try to undermine secular democratic character of our republic. Without defending this character, it will be difficult to proceed towards People’s Democracy. At the present juncture, the main task of the Party is to thwart these forces, to fight against BJP-RSS.

Yechury said, even if an analysis of ours is 100 percent correct it has no meaning without people taking it as their own. It is the task of Party workers to transform Party’s slogan as slogans of the masses. Our Party has done that in past. In West Bengal, we endured the torture and emergency remaining firmly with the masses. Mass line is the way to forge stronger links with the masses.

The plenum adopted separate resolutions underlining contours of struggle against anti-people economic policies of central and state governments, against communal forces and for mobilisation against attacks on democracy in West Bengal. A resolution was adopted to commemorate the centenary of October Revolution which will start from November 7 this year.


Brutality and Determination: A Story from Ranibandh


THE police were adamant in not accepting her complaint against Trinamool Congress leaders who had killed her husband. But her resolve was unwavering. With her two year old daughter in her lap she waited at the police station. Such was her steadfastness that she did not leave her station even to quench her thirst in this sweltering heat. The dogged determination of Jyotsna Mahato, the young widow of Comrade Bachchu Mahato, forced the all-powerful police of the Bengal government to bow down to her and accept her complaint.

Late Comrade Bachchu Mahato, a resident of Chaitandihi village in Ranibandh of Bankura was an agricultural worker. He had declined to give in to the demands of the extortionists of the TMC, who had demanded a substantial amount of money from him. Comrade Bachchu Mahato (25) was a dedicated CPI(M) worker who valiantly fought all odds to campaign for Left candidate in the last elections too. From this village, CPI(M) candidate got a lead. Comrade Mahato was threatened repeatedly by ruling party activists.

On September 27, at around 10 in the night, after a village meeting, the Trinamool Congress ruffians led by Arjun Mahato, Ashok Mahato and Haradhan Mahato, barged into the room of a sleeping Bachchu Mahato and pulled him out. He was mercilessly beaten up with planks of wood and iron rods. He was bleeding profusely. He was taken to hospital. Comrade Mahato breathed his last on September 29.

After Comrade Mahato was beaten up by the louts, his father lodged a complaint with the Ranibandh police station on September 28. Mahato was alive then. After his demise, the local Trinamool functionaries broke out of their stupor. On that evening they asked late Bachchu Mahato’s elder brother, Aditya Mahato, to meet them and tried to work out a deal by driving a lucrative bargain with him. They first tried to lure him with money. When that ploy failed, they took the recourse to threatening the family with dire consequences.  Neither stick nor carrot could persuade the members of the martyr’s family. The carrot was rejected outright and the stick did not daunt them. The police then asked the elder brother to convince senior Mahato to withdraw his complaint. The effort to turn around the Mahato family continued through September 30. Such is the level of barbarity that Jyotsna Mahato was asked to visit the local Trinamool office to meet her husband’s killers. She resolutely declined saying that she would not visit the office of those who beat her husband to death. Instead she went to the local police station at ten in the morning to lodge an FIR. At the police station, a police officer tried to dissuade her by saying that being a woman she should not get herself entwined in such nuisance and that her father-in-law had already lodged a complaint. The young, just-widowed, farm hand unfalteringly told the officer that the previous complaint was lodged while her husband was alive. The complaint against physical harassment and the one that she wanted to lodge after his death were not the same.

The police then came up with some truly distinctive justifications of not accepting her FIR. They said that her written complaint was full of spelling mistakes and there were many strike-offs! Fighting against all odds the brave young lady wrote three complaints. Later, though the police were forced to accept her complaint they declined to give her copy of the same. She was told that the copy would be given only after the IC came to the police station. In an extraordinary show of determination Jyotsna waited for four hours for the IC to arrive. After the IC pulled in, she walked up to him and asked for a copy of the FIR. The police officers were bowled over by the grittiness and fortitude of the young lady. She stayed without food and water and also did not feed her baby daughter for five long and wearisome hours. Her struggle to seek justice for her dead husband is what folklores are made of.



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