Vol. XLII No. 12 March 25, 2018

Jammu and Kashmir State Conference of CPI(M) Held in Srinagar

THE opening session of the 11th state conference of the Jammu and Kashmir CPI(M), which commenced at SKICC in Srinagar on March 19, was attended by thousands of participants with red flags in their hands. It was presided over by Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, CPI(M) leader and MLA.  CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury,  central secretariat member Joginder Sharma, Party senior leaders Sham Prasad Kesar, and Ghulam Nabi Malik were among others who addressed the opening session of the two-day conference.

While inaugurating the conference, Sitaram Yechury said that the Party has been playing an important role at the national level to thwart the anti-people policies of the Modi government. PM Narendra Modi visited US five times in the last three years and accepted all its conditions. The developed countries, including the US is facing recession from the last one decade and Modi is being asked to make policies to cater to their economic interests.

When Manmohan Singh was the prime minister, 49 per cent of the wealth of the country was in the hands of 1 per cent people in the country. Today it has increased to 73 per cent. The only achievement of the Modi government has been that rich are becoming richer and poor are getting poorer. To increase the profits of MNCs, Modi government is making policies that suit them but are against the interests of poor.

Demonetisation exercise's stated objectives have failed. It was a successful exercise of money laundering where the black money was converted with the help of the government into white. The four objectives that Prime Minister Narendra Modi detailed in his address to the nation on November 8 – bringing back black money, ending corruption, suffocating terrorist funding and tackling counterfeit currency – have all failed. The only aim was to generate money and use it in elections. The BJP is pumping huge money in elections and the latest example is Tripura.

If people of the country want better life, this BJP government has to go. The BJP is communally polarising the country for electoral benefits. They are raising private armies in the states where they are ruling in the name of ‘gau rakhshaks’, and ‘anti-Romeo squads.’ They kill Muslims and dalits in the name of ‘gau raksha’ and ‘love jihad’. And the killers are being projected like heroes. These private armies decide what is right and what is wrong. The constitution of India clearly states that any adult can marry of his/her own choice. But now RSS-BJP and Modi sarkar decide the choice of one’s eating habits, dress code and with whom one has to marry and make friendship. It is fascist mindset.

Kashmir is the crown of India and to safeguard it is the duty of every Indian. The PDP-BJP government in J&K is the biggest contradiction. Ever since Modi government took over, Kashmir is being tackled through military means only. “I came here twice as a member of Parliamentary delegation. First time it was when UPA-II was in power. But the recommendations of the interlocutors were never implemented. Second time, Home Minister Rajnath Singh led a Parliamentary delegation to Kashmir. When we returned to Delhi, it was discussed that the solution of Kashmir can be achieved through political process and not only through law and order. But ever since, not a single forward step was taken. Ban on pellet guns was raised in the parliament and home minister made a statement, but later he retracted. NSAs of India and Pakistan are meeting in third country, but in parliament, the government says it can’t hold dialogue with Pakistan,” said Yechury.

Kashmir is a political problem and till talks are not held with all the stakeholders in the state and with Pakistan, this issue cannot be resolved. CPI(M) believes that withdrawing of AFSPA has to start for confidence building measure. The eroded provisions of Article 370 have to restored and then only Kashmir will be real ‘atoot aang’ of India. This BJP government is making an assault on constitution.

Addressing the conference, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said this BJP government has closed all the doors for Kashmiris. When any young Kashmiri boy goes for studies outside state, he is being dragged out of the hostel and mercilessly beaten. A Kashmiri labourer is afraid of going outside. Till there is the RSS and Sangh Parivar in power in India, life is hell for minorities, dalits and Kashmiris. Our request to democratic and secular forces of the country is that if they want to save Kashmir, first India has to be saved from these forces. This poison will spread, and not only will it ruin Kashmir and Jammu, it will spoil the whole country.

“On behalf of Kashmir and Kashmiris, I want to convey to everybody that our whole body is bruised. We are not making any pleas to any king to award us but what every Kashmiri wants is a life with dignity. Kashmiris don’t want bullets, ammunition and graveyards but the right to live a dignified life,” said Tarigami.

“Young unarmed boys were killed in Shopian and police registered an FIR against the army. There was a hullaballoo within the establishment across the country, why an FIR has been registered against army for killing a Kashmiri.  Only yesterday RSS chief Mohan Baghwat said Kashmiris only understand the language of power. We tell Mohan Bahgwat that Kashmiri will prefer to die, but won’t be cowed by these threats. We accept that gun is not a solution, but we wish to make it clear to Mohan Baghwat that Kashmiris can’t be treated like cattle. We believe in communal harmony and not today but since centuries. When raiders from Pakistan came to Kashmir in 1947, my Kashmiri Muslim sisters saved Pandit sisters. It is our identity. We are sad that Kashmiri Pandits are not with us.

“We will also appeal our Jammu brothers not to fall prey to these elements who want to divide people in the name of religion and region. Who are the people who are trying to shield the rapists and murderers of 8-year-old Asifa of Kathua? It is most shameful act and against the human values that using tricolor, some fringe elements in Jammu took a rally in support of the accused. Two senior BJP ministers participated in this rally. Why is CM Mehbooba Mufti silent on their participation in the rally? If she could sack Haseeb Drabu, why is she afraid of taking any action against these two ministers,” questioned Tarigami.

The issue of J&K is a political issue and needs a credible process of dialogue. Dialogue with all stakeholders and with Pakistan.   

Addressing the conference, central secretariat member Joginder Sharma advocated for restoration of autonomy as defined in Delhi Agreement of 1952. All dilutions after 1953 must be removed which are responsible for weakening of Article 370.

The delegate session started on March 20, with the flag hoisting by Party senior leader, Ghulam Rasool Dar. A three member presidium was elected to conduct the proceedings of the session.

Mohamad Afzal Parry read out the condolence resolution on the passing away of Comrades Mohd Amin, Sukmol Sen, Jam Saki, Bishan Das and Ghulam Rasool Sheikh since the last Party conference.

The conference adopted resolutions on human rights, demanding withdrawal of AFSPA, PSA and other draconian laws and putting a ban on the use of pellet guns. The conference also adopted resolutions on agriculture/horticulture, education, wages and regularisation of casual/adhoc/temporary/scheme workers, democratic and trade union rights, women’s rights and against communalism, unemployment and price rise.

Ghulam Nabi Malik, CPI(M) state secretary presented the political resolution and political-organisational report. The conference, being held once in three years, deliberated upon the BJP-led central government's communal authoritarian agenda, corruption, misgovernance and anti-people policies. The disastrous policies pursued by the BJP government, vis-a-vis Kashmir for the last three years, refusing initiation of a credible dialogue process with all stake holders and relying exclusively on security forces, were also discussed in the conference.

200 delegates from across the state attended the conference. 19 comrades deliberated upon the political resolution and political-organisational report. The draft political resolution presented in the conference urged upon the government of India to take bold initiatives to start a credible process of dialogue primarily with the voices of dissent and with Pakistan for resolving all outstanding issues, including Kashmir. The participants in one voice urged upon the governments of India and Pakistan to take measures for silencing the guns along the LoC and the border.

The violent approach will neither benefit India, nor Pakistan. And such approach always has a devastating effect on the people of J&K. The latest killing of five members of a family in Poonch is a glaring example of how people of the state have become cannon fodder of the Indo-Pak hostilities over the years.

The delegates also reiterated the Party’s demand of ban on use of pellet guns in Kashmir, withdrawing of AFSPA as a confidence building measure and restoration of eroded provisions of Article 370. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should assure the people that Article 370 and Article 35-A will be safeguarded and he should make a statement on the floor of the parliament in this regard.

Cases of political leaders detained in various jails within and outside J&K should be reviewed for their release. Cases of detenues under PSA should be reviewed at the earliest and steps taken for their release. The participants also expressed serious concern over the attacks on Kashmiri students, businessmen and others outside the state. They were of the opinion that till there is the poisonous influence of RSS and Sangh Parivar in India, life is hell for minorities, dalits and Kashmiris. This poison will spread, and not only will it ruin Kashmir and Jammu, it will spoil the whole country.

The conference elected four delegates – GN Malik, Sham Prasad Kesar, Om Prakash and Mohammad Amin for the 22nd Party Congress to be held at Hyderabad from April 18 to 22. The conference also elected a 21-member state committee with GN Malik as its state secretary.  The conference concluded with the resounding slogan of “Long Live 11th State Party Conference”.