February 23, 2014

Tripura: DYFI Holds State Conference

Haripada Das

The conference was held at Melaghar in Sonamura subdivision under Sepahijala district on February 9-11, 2014. The venue was named after renowned social worker and martyr Dabholkar of Maharashtra and the conference dais after legendary singer Manna Dey who recently expired. The conference commenced in the afternoon on February 9, with flag hoisting and homage at the martyrs column in presence of the leaders, delegates and local residents. Thereafter a huge mass rally was held at Shahid Kajal Maidan, a school ground where a Class VII student, Kajal Barman, was gunned down by the police of the then Congress regime on August 20, 1970 when he was taking part in a demonstration demanding food. After the condolence resolution, DYFI state secretary Amal Chakraborty presented before the conference a political organisational resolution on behalf of the state secretariat. The report talked of the worldwide recession and its after-effects, implications of the neo-liberal policies for the millions of common masses in the country, unemployment, retrenchment, imperialist aggression against the people’s thought, culture and human values. The report also mentioned the social reform programmes, the present state of organisation of the DYFI in the state, and the future course of action etc. The report highlighted the sincere endeavour of the Left Front government of Tripura to carry on recruitment of youth in its various departments, defying the central government’s ban on fresh recruitment, despite the awkward financial position caused by gross deprivation meted out by the 13th Finance Commission to the state. The Left Front government is well aware that, the report pointed out, it is not possible to provide government job to all the job seekers. So the government has opened up non-governmental avenues for employment by encouraging the self-help groups (SHGs), launching various self-employment schemes etc. So far 40 thousand self-help groups have been established and more than 1.5 lakh youth are engaged therein. The report elaborately stated the employment position in sectors like industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, plantation orchards and transport etc in the state. In its organisational part, the report informed that at present the total membership stands 5,57,519, which means that it has increased by about 1.40 lakh since the preceding state conference in 2009. There is scope to raise the membership further, the report said. The report also alerted that an evil design is afoot to disrupt this positive atmosphere created by the Left Front government for the youth and other sections. It is the duty of the youth to frustrate this attempt, the report said. Out of a total of 556 delegates who attended the conference, 41 including 11 young ladies took part in the discussion on the political organisational report presented by the state secretary. While making constructive criticisms of the leadership for some lapses in the campaign programmes and organisational affairs, they also put forward some valuable suggestions for strengthening the organisation. They argued that it is next to impossible for a state government to provide job to all the job seekers. Moreover, it is all the more difficult if the central government happens to be non-cooperative. So the youth of Tripura must be made well aware of the limitations of the state government. The delegates that the DYFI members should be more and more involved in sports and culture, green movement, movement for blood donation, body and eye donation, social reforms etc, and boldly stand against the anti-women discrimination and atrocities. They emphatically argued for self-introspection and for practising high social and human values. The delegates felt that girls’ representation in various higher committees does not reflect their share in the membership. Hence the female members should be given due berth in high committees. Anti-imperialist campaigns and propaganda for alternative policies and against the evils of the neo liberal policies should be given top priority, the delegates argued. The 14th state conference of the DYFI was held at a time when the country is heading for a crucial general election of the Lok Sabha. Most of the people are striving for a change of regime --- not for a mere replacement of one leader or party by another, but for a change in policies that may arrest price hike, ensure remunerative prices for the farmers’ produce as well as food security for all, withdraw the ban on employment, eradicate corruption and reject the neo-liberal policies that tend to make the country a pawn to the imperialist interest and thus compromise our economic sovereignty. In that struggle, the youth force of the state should exert their best in the ensuing election. This was the call made by Manik Sarkar, a member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau and the chief minister of the state, in the mammoth rally of youth that took place at Melaghar on February 9, 2014, on the occasion of the DYFI state conference. Since independence the Congress has ruled at the centre for 54 years. But still this party did not find it necessary to adopt a youth policy though the youth form about 55 percent of the total population. No less than 42 lakh posts are lying vacant in various central government departments. In the name of reducing the public expenditure, they are abolishing those vacancies instead of filling up the posts. The quantum of misappropriation of public fund in various scams in the central government departments is as high as five lakh crore. Even the prime minister’s office has been indicted in several scams. Nowhere in the world has there been such shameful instances, Manik Sarkar repented. On the other hand, so far as policy matters and corrupt practices are concerned, the track record of the BJP is same as that of the Congress party. In addition, the BJP is more dangerous as its core policy is to divide the country on communal line in order to establish a so called ‘Hindu state,’ though it is also a fact that the Congress either capitulates before the communal and other divisive forces or tacitly patronises them for narrow political gains. At this critical juncture, Manik Sarkar argued, it is a noble duty of the countrymen to elect a non-Congress and non-BJP government at the centre, one which will pursue alternative pro-people policies. All-India general secretary of the DYFI, Abhoy Mukharjee, scathingly criticised the agrarian and food policies pursued by the centre. The agrarian policy is responsible for suicide of more than three lakh farmers and the food policy was so framed that it keeps at least 33 percent of the people out of its orbit and lowers the food grain quantity for the rest of the people. About 33 percent of the world’s hungry people live in India. Lakhs of babies perish in India before they reach five years of age, Mukharjee informed. Time has come before the youth community of the country to take up the challenge to resist this misrule and work for the formation of a government of alternative policies. Tapas Datta and Amal Chakraborty, president and secretary of the state DYFI, also addressed the rally that was presided over by Tapas Datta. On February 10 morning, while addressing the delegates session of the conference, Manik Sarkar asked the DYFI to work hard to make the youth community aware of the present crisis facing the country. Price rise, inflation, lockout unemployment, retrenchment, farmers’ suicide, etc are the inevitable outcomes of the capitalist system. Now the crisis is getting compounded by huge corruption scams. The youth community should know who belongs to which class, who serves whose interest, who are their class allies and class enemies etc. the DYFI must equip the youth section with class consciousness, political education and conscious discipline in life style as well as in the organisational sphere. Certainly the DYFI enjoys the support of a majority of youth in the state. But it must not forget that 46 percent people, including a good chunk of youth, are still with the opposition camp. They are not our class enemies and we must maintain lively contacts with them in order to win them over, Manik Sarkar pleaded. Others who addressed the conference delegates were the state’s power minister Manik Dey, youth affairs minister and chairman of the preparatory committee Sahid Chowdhury, Syandeep Mitra and Jamir Mollah (president and secretary of the DYFI’s West Bengal state committee respectively), and the DYFI’s Assam state president Loknath Adhikari. The conference adopted a campaign programme on a seven point charter of demands, apart from a nine point programme to strengthen the organisation. In the concluding session, an 84 member state committee including 16 ladies was elected; one seat was kept vacant to be co-opted later. While 43 members of the outgoing committee were given a farewell from the DYFI on age ground, 20 new youth leaders were inducted in the new committee. Eight members of the old state secretariat have been relieved. The entire hall got saddened while relieving their long time comrade, Tapas Datta, from the organisation. The new state committee unanimously elected Pankaj Ghosh as president and re-elected Amal Chakraborty as secretary.