THE AIC conference was held on March 31 and April 1, in the historic industrial city of Manchester for the first time. Delegates and friends representing the diverse Indian diaspora from cities across UK and Ireland assembled in the Comrade Avtar Singh Nagar for the rally and conference.
General secretary of the CPI(M), Sitaram Yechury was joined in solidarity by leaders of the Communist Party of Britain and Awami Workers’ Party from Pakistan and local dignitaries.
A resolution expressing condemnation and outrage at the cold blooded killing of Palestinian people was unanimously adopted. The resolution called for Israel to withdraw from all occupied territories of Palestine and respect the UN defined International borders of 1948.
A specially commissioned portrait of Comrade Avtar Sadiq was presented by the painter Anil Kumar and received by Preet Bains. The portrait will be on permanent display at the AIC Leicester office.
Sitaram Yechury addressed the rally and made valuable interventions to guide the work of the Association. He specifically traced the protracted capitalist crisis of 2008, the neoliberal policies and impact of austerity on the working class. Corporate bankruptcy has been replaced by sovereign bankruptcy. This neoliberal agenda is being pursued more aggressively by the ruling classes to address the inherent failings of capitalism, while the people search for a progressive alternative, he said.
Yechury recalled with pride the recent long march of the farmers and the peoples struggles in India. The alarming rise in farmers suicides, attacks upon minorities, Muslims, dalits and sections of the Left with the new phenomena of competitive communalism between the RSS/BJP, Hindutva brigades and the TMC.
He acknowledged the international solidarity work of the AIC and IWA in support of the movement in India, Cuba and Palestine. At the delegates session, he reminded the AIC and its members of their “commitment to work with the working class in Britain while they live here and with the working class in India when they are there.”
A number of resolutions expressing condolences were passed at the loss of veterans, Fidel Castro, Mohammad Amin, Sukomal Sen, Avtar Sadiq and Santokh Singh and the hundreds of the comrades of the CPI(M) who have laid down their lives in defence of the red flag.
Among the future tasks agreed by the AIC conference were: to support the construction of the Surjeet Bhavan dedicated to education and research, celebrate 80 years of the IWA, 200 years of the birth of Karl Marx, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Centenary and work to strengthen the AIC along the path chartered at the Kolkata organisational plenum of 2016.
The AIC report on behalf of the executive presented by the secretary Harsev Bains was discussed and deliberated upon by branch and mass organisations representatives from the 48 delegates and with amendments and additions it was unanimously endorsed.
The conference concluded with the election of the executive committee, the formation of a working committee, cultural coordination fraction and two delegates to the 22nd Congress of the CPI(M). Harsev Bains was elected as the secretary of the executive committee. Harsev Bains and Joginder Bains were elected as delegates to the Party Congress.
A vote of thanks was placed by Janesh Nair on behalf of the welcome committee and the delegates expressed their appreciation for the magnificent professional arrangements made by comrades from Manchester and many others for making the 18th conference a success.