Vol. XLI No. 05 January 29, 2017

AIPSO National Conference Concludes Successfully

Roshan Lal Moudgil

THE national conference of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) held from January 19-21, 2017 at Romesh Chandra Nagar (Olympia Chambers, Chandrasekhran Nair Stadium ) in Thiruvananthapuram, concluded successfully.

An international seminar was organised on 'The Impact of October Revolution on Struggle for Peace and Against War ' on the eve of the conference on January 19, 2017. CP Narayanan, MP and president of AIPSO, Kerala welcomed the international and national delegates to the seminar. D Raja, MP and presidium member of AIPSO acted as moderator.

Sitaram Yechury, MP and presidium member of AIPSO delivered the key note address. Addressing the seminar, Yechury said, ''October Revolution has proved that there can be social order in which there can be no exploitation of man by man. It was for the first time in the human civilisation that illiteracy and unemployment were eradicated. Right to food, education, health, employment, liberty, decent life are gifts of October Revolution. Capitalism could not do it ever''. He further said that the claims and propaganda of US imperialism that post cold war there will be no arms race, expenses on arms will come down, no atomic and nuclear weapons will be manufactured proved to be false and misleading. On the contrary, the military expenses have increased manifold, local tensions have grown and NATO is being strengthened for attacks on undesirable nations by imperialism. He felt concerned at India becoming a junior defence strategic partner of the US. He explained that the attacks on Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Latin America, Somalia and so on expose the designs of imperialism. Yechury elaborated that such attacks have multiplied and theatres of war are multiplying. Commenting on the situation in India, he said that people will have to choose between Hindutva nationalism and Indian nationalism. Hindutva disrupts and divides and Indian nationalism is symbol of peoples unity and solidarity for development of India.  On the issue of demonetisation, Yechury termed it an economic war on the people.

Iraklis Tsavdavidis, executive secretary, World Peace Council explained in detail the proceedings and decisions of the WPC meeting held in Brazil in November 2016 and the slogan of WPC 'World without Nuclear Weapons'. He stated that real peace can be achieved only by the complete elimination of war, which is possible only through transcending capitalist system and ushering in socialism. It is here, he said, October Revolution showed the way. He wanted all the peace contingents to study the tactics employed by Bolsheviks led by Lenin in the period of First World War. It is these correct application of tactics that led to the victory of October Revolution.

The secretary of Afro-Asian Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO) shared his thoughts with the delegates in the seminar. He commended AIPSO, a founding member of the AAPSO for its initiatives. Other International delegates representing peace movements from Vietnam, Bangladesh, Czech, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka also addressed the seminar.

The national conference began on January 20 at 10 am with the flag hoisting by Yadav Reddy, general secretary, AIPSO and the releasing of pigeon, the symbol of peace into the sky by Pinarayi Vijayan, chief minister of Kerala. Adv. VB Binu, general secretary, AIPSO Kerala welcomed the delegates, leaders and guests and especially the chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan. 

Vijayan while inaugurating the conference said that whenever capitalism faces a crisis, it tries to cover it by unleashing war. He further said that at this stage anti-war and                   pro-peace movements have a lot of relevance and joining anti-war movement is joining anti-US and anti-imperialist camp. He deplored the increasing expenditure on armaments and the various regional wars that are waged by NATO led by the US. He said though the world had not witnessed another World War, after the Second World War, with these regional wars around the world, peace is under perennial threat. It is the duty of the AIPSO to expose the forces behind these regional wars and mobilise Indian people for world peace, he stated. He also condemned the increasing racist attacks, Islamophobia and ethnic violence around the world. He wanted organisations like AIPSO to explain to the people the hand of US in the spurt and growth of various terrorist organisations like the Talibans, Al Qaeda and IS around the world. Imperialism has to be exposed before the people and AIPSO should play an active role in the struggles against imperialist hegemony.

Sitaram Yechury speaking in the inaugural session, said that AIPSO should not only lead the movements for peace, but also should build solidarity among the people. Speaking about his thirty years of experience in working in the peace movement, he explained the importance and necessity of building solidarity. Here, he pointed to the difference between various peace organisations, movements that exist around the world and AIPSO. He said, while most of them are only peace councils, AIPSO is distinct because it is also an organisation for building solidarity. Explaining the political rationale behind consciously trying to build AIPSO as both a peace and solidarity organisation, he linked it with the socio-political and economic situation in India. He stated that AIPSO must not only extend solidarity to anti-imperialist peoples movements, but also express its solidarity and mobilise people in the struggles for ending economic, social, ethnic and cultural exploitation.

Iraklis, executive secretary of WPC, and representatives of the fraternal peace organisations from various countries, who attended the conference, greeted the AIPSO. D Raja, also spoke on the occasion.

Oscar Martinez Cordoves, ambassador of Cuba to India and Adnan Abu Alhaijja ambassador of Palestine to India spoke in the solidarity session organised in the conference. Both of them shared the situation in their respective countries and thanked the AIPSO and the people of India for their consistent support to their respective countries. The conference adopted two resolutions expressing its solidarity with the people of Latin America and Palestine, who were resisting the imperialist attempts to subjugate them.

Nilotpal Basu, general secretary introduced the Thiruvananthapuram declaration, the main political document of the conference before the delegates, which resolves to initiate the process of mighty struggles for mobilisation of the broadest sections of our people based on the broadest possible unity to fight for world peace and to extend its solidarity to all those countries and movements who are fighting for independence, democratic rights of the people and social justice. The declaration will actively promote independence and multiplicity of voices within the flexible framework of ever broadening unity.

Pallab Sen Gupta, general secretary placed the political and organisational report before the conference. He self-critically analysed the present state of peace movement in the country, the various programmes conducted by the AIPSO in the intervening period between the two conferences. He exhorted the delegates to work for further strengthening of the AIPSO, which is an absolute necessity in the current conjuncture. He appealed the delegates to work for broadening the organisation by involving persons from various streams of the society, along with those associated with the Left movements. He concluded his presentation calling for building a more broad-based organisation, more unity and more movements. After deliberations by the delegates the Thiruvananthapuram Declaration and the Organisational Report were unanimously adopted.

Moving on to the next important agenda of the conference, Pallab Sengupta proposed the names for the new leadership of the AIPSO. The names proposed were for both the team of office bearers and the executive council. The elections were unanimous. D Raja, MA Baby, Yadav Reddy along with three others were elected as presidium members. Pallab Sen Gupta, Nilotpal Basu, Sonya Gupta and two others were elected as general secretaries along with a team of office bearers.

The conference concluded thanking the AIPSO Kerala for making excellent arrangements and also for the rich cultural programmes that were conducted on all the three days of the meeting.