HP: CPI(M) Conference Vows to Provide an Alternative
THE state conference of Himachal Pradesh unit of CPI(M) was held on September 25-26 at Kullu. According to the credential committee report, 195 delegates participated in the conference. The Party flag was hoisted by senior comrade and medical practitioner Dr M S Dattal. The conference was inaugurated by Party Polit Bureau member, Tapan Sen.
The conference elected 30-member Party state committee, which unanimously elected Onkar Shad as new state secretary. Onkar Shad, Rakesh Singha, Kashmir Thakur, Kuldeep Tanwar, Kushal Bhardwaj, Prem Gautam and Sanjay Chauhan were elected to the state Secretariat. A three member Control Commission was constituted with Jagmohan Thakur as chairman and Reena Tanwar and Pratap Rana as members.
Inaugurating the conference, Tapan Sen said the Party's aim is to end exploitation of Indian people by rallying them for People's Democratic Revolution. The Party is working for changing the correlation of class and political forces in India whereas the ruling classes want status quo. CPI(M) is a party of working class and therefore it wants the unity of the entire working class.
He stated that the capitalist economic crisis has deepened further since the last three years. The IMF and World Bank have also now accepted that neoliberal policies cannot contain this crisis. Therefore the imperialist capitalist model has been exposed. It has registered negative economic growth throughout the world during the Covid-19 period whereas the socialist countries like China and Vietnam have registered positive economic growth. The socialist model has been hailed worldwide. China has controlled the pandemic successfully and has provided vaccines to many countries, and Cuba sent its medical teams throughout the world to help out the people during the pandemic.
The NDA government led by the ruling class is pursuing imperialist neoliberal policies which are widening the gap between the rich and poor. These policies are leading to massive price rise, unemployment, rampant corruption, job loss, sale of public sector etc. The Modi government is hell-bent on selling the PSU's, that too at throw-away prices. The recently announced National Monetisation Pipeline is a new way to handover country’s wealth to corporates. The people of India are fighting against these anti-people policies but the RSS led BJP government is trying to repress the people's movements through the draconian UAPA, NSA and sedition laws. The authoritarianism is getting stronger and stronger thereby giving rise to fascistic tendencies in the country.
The government is resorting to communal polarisation to weaken the democratic movements. Only a communist party can fight it out by rallying the common masses on their economic demands and social issues. It is the only one which alone can provide an alternate to pro-capitalist, landlord and imperialist policies. Tapan Sen appealed to the delegates to go among the masses, identify their concrete issues and slogans, unify them and mobilise them in struggles. This is the only way which can change the correlation of class and political forces. The people of Himachal Pradesh are waiting and seeking for policy based alternate and our Party is very well capable of providing that alternate. We will have to strive hard for consolidating the independent strength of the Party and strengthen Left unity, put forward Left democratic alternative, and this is the only way to comprehensively defeat the communal forces.
DISCUSSION & TASKS
Party state secretary Onkar Shad presented the political and political-organisational report. A total of 26 delegates from various districts and frontal organisations participated in the discussion, making suggestions, seeking clarifications and raising questions. Onkar Shad placed the political, socio-economic condition of the state and opportunities before the Party for its consolidation and expansion. He presented the work and review report of the last three years. He reviewed the tasks of priority fronts and areas and lessons drawn. He emphasised the need to organise, unify and mobilise peasants, working class and other sections of the society so as to change the correlation of political forces in the state. Ninety per cent of people living in the countryside are the backbone in the fight for changing the correlation of class and political forces in the state. Our priority should be to organise them. The largest contributor to the state’s economy is peasantry, whose share is 63 per cent. Our primary task should be to work among kisans.
Student front has always been very important for the development of Party in the state as it provided cadre to the Party and therefore this front should also be focussed upon. The Party has to focus its work among rural working class. It has to unify the poor peasants and working class and launch struggles on their issues. Besides the economic issues of basic classes, we have to take up the social issues of dalits and women, on a priority basis. The government of Himachal Pradesh is implementing neoliberal policies which are pro-capitalist and pro-landlord classes. These policies are giving rise to economic crisis, poverty, unemployment on one hand and on the other hand to divert the attention of public from basic issues, it is using communalism and other divisive policies as a tool to weaken the class unity of the people. Therefore it is the primary duty of the Party to oust the BJP government from power. This can be possible only if the independent strength of the Party and mass fronts is strengthened. Along with it, the unity of Left parties, mass organisations and other democratic forces has to be achieved and consolidated so that the Party is able to provide a Left democratic alternative in the state.
Due to neoliberal policies, there is an acute crisis in the agriculture sector in Himachal Pradesh. 86 per cent of the peasants in the state are small and marginalised farmers. 90 per cent of the people in the state live in villages. There are about 35,50,000 workers in the state, out of which 58 per cent are peasants and 5 per cent are agriculture workers. Therefore, a total of 63 per cent of people are directly dependent on agriculture. Approximately 32 per cent of people are employed in domestic industry and other employment sectors. 8 per cent of people are working in government jobs and 1.5 per cent are working in private sector. 10 per cent of people are working in organised sector and 90 per cent are in unorganised sector.
48 per cent of families in the state own below six bigha of land. Foodgrain production is decreasing where as vegetable production is increasing. The crisis in apple production and economy is increasing due to the lack of research and development, its low access to market, increasing cultivation costs, decreasing subsidy and corporate regulation and control on market. The Adani company is reducing purchasing prices of apple every year, and thereby is exploiting farmers in a very big way and increasing its profits manifold.
Due to this situation, peasants, workers and other toiling sections of the society are under severe economic crisis and are in dire need of an alternative. Agriculture has become a deficit and loss making affair. Workers in the state are earning paltry amounts of Rs 2,000-9,000 as wages or honorarium. Landlessness is increasing in the state. Contractualisation, outsource system, casual, part time, temporary, multipurpose or task workers, fixed term workers and NPS – have become common and have led to increased exploitation of workers.
Privatisation is rampant. Unemployment has gone beyond control and there are over 10 lakh registered educated unemployed youth. It is almost 12 per cent of the total population. There is undeclared ban on employment. The tourism sector which is a very important component of the state's economy has collapsed very badly. The education sector is facing massive privatisation, commercialisation, centralisation and saffronisation. The new national education policy has further posed many new challenges before the education sector as a whole and the student community in particular.
One-fourth of the total population of the state belongs to Scheduled Castes whose oppression, economic and social exploitation has increased over the last few years. Assaults and physical attacks on them have increased and virtually many dalits have been killed in the state while raising the issues of social empowerment and equality. The RSS led state government has consciously propounded and floated Swarna Ayog so as to further intensify casteism, caste divide, oppression and caste conflict and to divert the attention of common masses from real issues. The economic and social exploitation, oppression and crime against women has also increased manifold. Concrete work has to be done on issues; slogans have to be identified and raised while unifying and organising the masses on local issues and building local struggles. The state conference resolved to launch struggles on political, economic and social issues and strengthen the Party. The presidium thanked Kullu district committee of the Party for organising the Party conference successfully.
The conference unanimously adopted nine resolutions on scrapping of four labour codes, repealing of three farm laws, new national education policy 2020, issues and demands of women and dalits, land acquisition act 2013, issues of agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry, four-lane displaced people, massive unemployment, privatisation and National Monetisation Pipeline and New Pension Scheme etc. The conference vowed to launch struggles on these issues by unifying the masses and building their struggles.