THE meetings of the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee held on June 1 and July 2 took important decisions in line with the directives of its state plenum held in March 2017. The first meeting was attended by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu.
STATE PARTY CLASS
The CPI(M) held a three day state class last month from June 2-4, in Mumbai. It was attended by 154 leading comrades from 25 districts. They included 41 state committee members. Nashik district with 26 and Thane-Palghar district with 24 had the largest representation, followed by Mumbai with 9 and Solapur with 6.
The first class on “The Grave Danger of Communalism and Resistance to it” was taken in a lucid manner by Sitaram Yechury. He then released amidst enthusiasm the new 308-page book “Navaratnas of the Indian Communist Movement” brought out by the Party’s publishing house Janashakti Prakashan.
This book is a translation of the English version called “Founders of the CPI(M)” written by N Rama Krishnan and it was translated by Rajeev Deshpande, member of the editorial board of the Party’s state weekly Jeewan Marg. Chairman of Janashakti Prakashan Dr Ashok Dhawale introduced the book, copies of which were distributed to all districts for sale.
The other five subjects in the class were taken by state Party leaders. The subjects and teachers were as follows: Dialectical and Historical Materialism – state committee member Dr Uday Narkar; Marxist Political Economy – state secretariat member Ajit Abhyankar; Centenary of the October Revolution – state secretariat member Udayan Sharma; Our Conception of the Indian Revolution (Party Programme) – central secretariat member Dr Ashok Dhawale; Party Organisation – Central Committee member Mahendra Singh. Each class was followed by a lively question answer session. State secretary and central committee member Narasayya Adam, in his concluding speech, reported the important decisions of the state committee meeting that was held on June 1, on the eve of the class.
The farmers’ strike had begun in Maharashtra on June 1. Hence on June 2 afternoon, Sitaram Yechury addressed a jam-packed press conference in Mumbai to support the strike. AIKS state general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale and state president Kisan Gujar reported to the class about the latest developments in the peasant struggle. CITU state general secretary M H Shaikh, AIAWU state president Maroti Khandare, AIDWA state general secretary Sonya Gill, DYFI state president Sunil Dhanwa and SFI state vice president Manjushree Kabade pledged the full and active support of their organisations to the ongoing peasant struggle.
There was a brisk sale of books worth over Rs 25,000 at the stall of progressive literature. Several subscriptions were also enrolled for the Party’s central and state organs. The CPI(M) Mumbai committee had made good arrangements for the state class.
In the March state committee meeting, on behalf of the state Party education sub-committee, convenor Dr Uday Narkar presented a written note proposing a plan for Party education, including classes and study circles. The state committee concretised it. The June state Party class was the first step. Two other steps were decided.
In July and August, one day classes will be held in each district for Party branch secretaries, with the specific aim of activising the Party branches. In September and October, seven regional classes for the district leadership of the Party will be held and their dates were finalised. All Party district committee members and key district office bearers of all the mass fronts will attend these regional classes. The four topics to be taken there will be: 1. What is Marxism? 2. The Danger of Communalism and how to Combat it, 3. Party Programme, 4. Party Organisation. Nilotpal Basu and state leaders will take these classes.
STATE WORKSHOP FOR WHOLE TIMERS
On August 19-20, a state level workshop for all whole timers of the Party and mass fronts will be held at Solapur. The first such workshop was held in 2011, in which a resolution on the work of whole timers was placed and discussed for the first time. It was then finalised by the state committee. Now the state committee finalised a questionnaire for whole timers and for the Party district leadership. After receiving their replies the district committees will make their assessment by the end of July and send it to the state centre. On this basis, a note will be prepared and placed for discussion in the Solapur workshop. The aim of the workshop is to further activate the whole timers and give a proper direction to their work.
The June state committee gave a bold call for the mass collection of a one crore rupee fund for whole timers in the month of November 2017, after adequate preparations. In December 2013, to mark the Jyoti Basu Birth Centenary Year, over Rs 60 lakh was collected by the Party in Maharashtra within a month. It was decided to build on and take forward this experience. District quotas for this fund were also decided.
Based on the All India meeting of Party editors that was held at Hyderabad in April end, a note was prepared for streamlining various aspects of the state Party weekly Jeewan Marg and it was placed before the state committee by its editor Dr Ashok Dhawale.
After discussion the decisions taken were as follows: 1. There will be even more emphasis and sharpness in the content of Jeewan Marg on exposing the anti-people, pro-corporate, pro-imperialist, communal and fascistic nature of the RSS-BJP regime at the centre and in the state. 2. With the political aim of taking the Party stand to the people and the organisational aim of implementing the mass line as directed by the Kolkata Plenum, beginning July 1, all Party state committee members, district secretaries, whole timers and members of the editorial board will regularly sell 10 copies of Jeewan Marg every week and will remit the sale amount every month. This decision has been implemented and it has resulted in doubling the circulation. 3. A big campaign for enrolling subscribers to Jeewan Marg and also to People’s Democracy, Loklahar and Marxist will be taken up in December 2017, immediately after the whole timer fund campaign in November. 4. Every Party district committee will give or procure an advertisement of Rs 10,000 per year for the weekly to ensure its financial viability. 5. Serious efforts will be made to put Jeewan Marg online.
SUPPORT TO PEASANT STRUGGLE
As was only to be expected from a BJP-led regime, the state government went back on its word to give a complete peasant loan waiver excluding the richer sections, which was given on June 11 as a result of the historic peasant struggle. It announced a much watered-down loan waiver package with several conditions on June 24. This has angered the peasantry which, however, is now busy with agricultural operations due to the monsoon.
Hence the Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Organisations decided to hold joint district conventions of farmers for mass awakening all over the state from July 10 to 23, to expose the betrayal of the state government on the loan waiver issue and to raise the issue of implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations. AIKS leaders Dr Ajit Nawale, Kisan Gujar and Dr Ashok Dhawale will be part of the joint team that will address these conventions. After this the further plan of joint struggle will be decided.
The Party state committee heard the report of this struggle from Dr Ajit Nawale and decided to actively support the struggle. A meeting of available state office bearers of the CITU, AIKS and AIAWU was held immediately after the state committee meeting on July 2 and it also took a similar decision. The SFI and DYFI have decided on an independent statewide campaign in July in support of the peasant struggle.
The state committee gave a call for stiff resistance through demonstrations to the increasing attacks on dalits and muslims by RSS-instigated hoodlums masquerading as gau rakshaks. A joint mass action was organised by the Left and Ambedkarite forces in Mumbai on July 3.
It was also decided to hold demonstrations on July 15 to insist on the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in parliament.