MAHARASHTRA: Whole-Timers State Workshop Held

Vijay Patil

AS part of the implementation of the state organisational plenum decisions, the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee organised a state level workshop for Party whole-timers at Solapur on August 19-20, 2017. It had organised a state Party class in Mumbai in June and seven regional Party classes are due in September and October. Some important decisions about the state Party weekly ‘Jeewan Marg’ have led to a doubling of its circulation from July. From November 15 to December 15, a statewide call has been given to collect one crore rupees as whole-timers fund. The state committee has also decided on the schedule of Party conferences from unit to state level, with the state conference due in mid-February.

The first state level workshop of Party whole-timers was organised at Mumbai six years ago in November 2011. In this a resolution titled ‘The importance of whole-timers and their method of functioning’ was discussed and adopted and it was then finalised by the Party state committee in March 2012. During the period from 2008 to 2013, over Rs 70 lakh had been collected by the Party in Maharashtra for the first time for the whole-timers fund.

Before this second workshop, the state committee had prepared a detailed questionnaire to be filled by nearly 200 whole-timers in the state and had asked the district committees to send their own assessment reports of whole-timers on the basis of their replies.

The workshop began on the morning of August 19 at the CPI(M) Solapur district committee office in Comrade Godutai Parulekar Housing Complex, with the flag hoisting by veteran state committee member Allabaksh Patel and the floral tributes to martyrs. A total of 187 Party whole-timers, district secretaries and state committee members from 24 districts attended both days of the workshop. Their front-wise representation was as follows: trade union front-73, kisan front-57, agricultural workers front-12, women’s front-27, youth front-25, student front-9, teachers front-2 and cultural front-1.

The presidium comprised Dr S K Rege, Barkya Mangat and Naseema Shaikh. The state secretariat was the steering committee; Vijay Patil and Vinod Nikole the minutes committee and Sanjay Thakur, Datta Chavan and Nalini Kalburgi was the credentials committee.

After the introductory remarks by state secretary and Central Committee member Narasayya Adam, the workshop was inaugurated by state secretariat member M H Shaikh. He outlined the glorious legacy of the people of Solapur, from the freedom movement to post-independence struggles of the working class, especially power-loom and beedi workers, and of the peasantry. He then stressed the need to strengthen the Party in the present situation and as a part of this, to streamline the work of whole timers.

REPORT AND TASKS

The nine-page report of the state secretariat was effectively placed before the workshop by Central Secretariat member Dr Ashok Dhawale and it was well seconded by Central Committee member Mahendra Singh. Copies of the report and of the 2012 resolution on whole-timers had been given to all the delegates. The report had the following main sections: 1. current political challenges, 2. guidance of the Kolkata Organisational Plenum on whole-timers, 3. qualities and duties of whole-timers, 4. situation of whole-timers in Maharashtra, 5. assessment of the work of whole timers, 6. future tasks.

There are today 198 Party whole-timers in Maharashtra. 41 of them are state committee members and of these four are women. 131 are district committee members and 22 of these are women. And 26 is the number of other whole-timers. The Party state committee gives wages of Rs 5,000 per month to 59 whole-timers of all mass fronts from several districts. Many others are paid by different trade union centres and some by Party district committees. The trade union centres generally pay better wages to their whole-timers.  

The seven tasks set out by the report were:

1. The state committee should prepare a note for guidance, based on the discussion in this workshop, replies of whole-timers and the assessment reports of the district committees.

2. All whole timers must keep a diary of their daily work, reply to the questionnaire once a year and an annual state workshop of whole-timers must be held regularly.

3. District/taluka committees must organise meetings of whole- timers in their district every three months, review their work and help and guide them in planning their future work.

4. The state committee decision of every state committee member, district secretary and whole-timer selling 10 copies of the state Party weekly must be implemented stringently.

5. Whole-timers must play a leading role in the one crore rupees fund drive of the Party which is specifically meant for whole- timers.

6. Whole-timers must play a major role for making a success of the coming Party conferences at all levels in order to strengthen and streamline the Party organisation.

7. Last but not the least, all whole-timers must take the lead in unleashing mass struggles and make conscious efforts to strengthen their mass front and also the Party.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION         

After a district-wise group discussion on the report, 43 whole- timers, including eight women, spoke in the workshop. All of them welcomed this workshop, placed their work, their difficulties and their weaknesses and pledged to work even harder in the direction set by this workshop. After the reply by Dr Ashok Dhawale, the report was unanimously adopted.

State committee member Dr Ajit Nawale made a focused presentation of the massive joint peasant struggle that is going on in Maharashtra in which the AIKS is playing a leading role, and pinpointed the tasks before the Party. State committee member Anna Sawant gave an idea of the novel Workers Literary Conference (Shramik Sahitya Sammelan) that was organised by the CITU Maharashtra state committee at Jalna on September 10-11. State secretariat member Mariam Dhawale explained about the AIDWA exhibition on Communist women freedom fighters, which was put up and was well appreciated in this workshop.

Naseema Shaikh and Kishore Theckedath felicitated AIDWA state committee member and Talasari taluka secretary Savita Davre, who was recently unanimously elected as the chairperson (sabhapati) of the Talasari Taluka Panchayat Samiti in Palghar district. Narasayya Adam and M H Shaikh felicitated Dr Ashok Dhawale for having received the prestigious Krantisinh Nana Patil Social Award. Ashok added some of his own money to the award amount and donated Rs 25,000 to the Party’s state whole-timer fund.   

In his concluding speech, Narasayya Adam stressed the crucial importance of whole-timers in the work of advance of the Party and the mass fronts in the present challenging political situation. He gave several personal experiences to drive home this point. He said that the Party’s publishing house Janashakti Prakashan has recently published the book Navaratnas of the Indian Communist Movement. All Party leaders and whole-timers, he said, must read this book carefully, take inspiration from the nine founding Polit Bureau members of the CPI(M) and apply the lessons from their life and work to our own life and work.

The CPI(M) Solapur district committee, all mass fronts and volunteers had done an excellent job of organising this workshop. Dr S K Rege and Yusuf Major proposed the vote of thanks. The workshop ended amidst resounding slogans and with the singing of the Internationale.      

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