All-India School for DSMM Cadre Held in Chandigarh
R L Moudgil
A three-day all-India school for Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM) activists was held in Chandigarh. 101 delegates, including five women, from 15 north, east and western states attended the first such national-level school, which started on June 30 and concluded on July 2. CPI(M) Punjab state secretary Charan Singh Virdi welcomed the delegates and inaugurated the school. In his address, Virdi underlined the importance of the school in the present scenario when dalits are under severe attack from the right wing fascistic forces which happen to be in power at the centre. V Srinivasa Rao, CPI(M) central secretariat member and national convening committee member of DSMM, was the principal of the school. Asim Bala, national co-convenor of the DSMM was also present on the dais. Ashok Dhawale, CPI(M) central secretariat member, spoke about ‘Caste in Indian society and politics’, ‘B R Ambedkar and his ideology’ and ‘history of social movements’. He explained in detail the genesis and history of caste system in India and the prevailing situation in different parts of the country. He elaborated on the issue of society and politics. He spoke about various aspects of Ambedkar’s relentless struggle for annihilation of caste. DSMM national convening committee member G Mamatha took class on the second day. She spoke on the aims and objectives of DSMM. In the afternoon session, CPI(M) Central Committee member Badal Saroj dwelt upon the effects of globalisation on dalits and organisational set up of DSMM and the tasks before it. Question-and-answer sessions were held after the classes where the delegates asked various questions on the role of DSMM in the present scenario. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Subhashini Ali took class on the third day. She spoke on identity politics and communalism. Group discussions took place in the afternoon and the delegates asked questions based upon the group discussions. Ali replied to the questions. According to the credential committee, the number of delegates from the states are as follows: Haryana (8), Uttarakhand (5), Punjab (15), Rajasthan (7), Himachal Pradesh (5), Jammu and Kashmir (3), West Bengal (5), Madhya Pradesh (11), Bihar (4), Uttar Pradesh (7), Gujarat (2), Jharkhand (5), Maharashtra (7), Delhi (13) and Chhattisgarh (4). The Punjab state committee made excellent arrangements for food and accommodation for the school.