THE last two weeks saw a series of impressive programmes in Thane-Palghar district of Maharashtra. They began with a district Party class at the Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar Bhavan at Talasari on October 30-31, 2017. This was attended by 415 leading comrades from eight tehsils. They included state, district, tehsil and local committee members of the Party, unit secretaries and elected Party members in the zilla parishad, panchayat samitis, municipal council and sarpanches/upasarpanches of gram panchayats.
This class was held as per the Party state committee decision to organise seven regional Party classes all over the state for leading Party cadres, of which five have been held last month – for Khandesh region at Jalgaon, North Maharashtra region at Saptashrungi Gad in Nashik district, South Maharashtra region at Kolhapur, Konkan region at Mumbai and the Thane-Palghar class at Talasari. The Vidarbha and Marathwada classes will be held later.
After the introductory remarks by district secretary Barkya Mangat, the Thane-Palghar Party class was inaugurated by veteran state committee member and ex-MP/ex-MLA Lahanu Kom. After a brief address by another veteran leader L B Dhangar, the concluding speech was made by J P Gavit, MLA.
It was one of the best and most well-attended Party classes held in the district during the last few years. Party literature, including the newly published book by the Party’s publishing house Janashakti Prakashan, based on the life sketches of the nine founder Polit Bureau members of the CPI(M), ‘Navaratnas of the Indian Communist Movement’ and the latest issues of the Party state weekly ‘Jeewan Marg’, sold very well in this Party class.
On the first night of the class, October 30, hundreds of the class participants, joined by hundreds of other comrades, held an impressive Mashaal Rally through Talasari town, as per the nationwide call given by the Jan Ekata Jan Adhikar Andolan. It was the women comrades who were holding the tribal-made artistic Mashaals aloft. The march included activists of the AIKS, CITU, AIDWA, DYFI and SFI. The rally gave resounding slogans against the dark forces of communalism and against the neo-liberal policies. The rally was addressed by CPI(M) central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu, AIKS president Dr Ashok Dhawale, AIDWA general secretary Mariam Dhawale, AIKS state vice presidents Dr Uday Narkar and Barkya Mangat, CITU state secretary Vinod Nikole, DYFI state president Sunil Dhanwa and others.
On November 6/7, the CPI(M) held enthusiastic meetings in seven tehsils of Thane-Palghar district to celebrate the centenary of the October Revolution in Russia. Thousands of people took part in them. The main speakers in these meetings were: Talasari and Dahanu – Dr Ashok Dhawale, Wada and Jawhar – Kisan Gujar, Vikramgad – Mariam Dhawale, Palghar – Edward Vartha, Shahapur – Prachi Hatiwlekar.
All of them recounted the brief history and the great achievements of the October Revolution in all fields of human endeavour, the bitterly fought war of the Soviet Union against Hitler’s fascist hordes in which victory was wrested at the cost of untold sacrifices, the great international impact of the Russian Revolution and its relevance in the present Indian context. Comrades were everywhere greatly enthused by all these programmes.
The very next day, November 8, was the first anniversary of the disastrous demonetisation decision by the Modi-led BJP government, which then followed it up by the draconian GST. Despite the constant rush of programmes, hundreds of people in Talasari, Dahanu, Vikramgad and other tehsils held angry marches under the banner of the CPI(M), denouncing demonetisation, GST and the neo-liberal policies and communal drive of the RSS-BJP central government and also the anti-farmer, anti-worker and pro-corporate policies of the BJP-led central and state governments.
Earlier, from October24-26, a novel Maharashtra-level health workshop of the AIDWA was held for the first time. Held in Thane city adjoining Mumbai, it was successfully hosted by the AIDWA Thane-Palghar district committee.
Now, after the successful joint trade union dharna in Delhi on November 9-11, efforts are on in the district and all over the state to mobilise in strength for the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee’s (AIKSCC) massive countrywide Kisan Sansad in Delhi on November 20-21. The AIKS has begun concerted preparations for the same.
In December, the CPI(M) state committee has given a call for a One Crore Rupee Wholetimer Fund Statewide Campaign. The entire Party in Maharashtra is being geared up for this call which will comprise two stages – first, collection of one day’s income from all Party members in the state and second, mass collection from the people. The Party state committee has begun with itself, with every state committee member pledging an amount.
Almost all unit and local conferences of the Party have been completed in Thane-Palghar district and preparations are on for tehsil conferences from December 21 to 28 and for the district conference on January 23-24, to be followed by the Party state conference at Sangli in South Maharashtra on February 15-17, 2018.