February 20, 2022

Conference of Association of Indian Communists

Harsev Bains

THE 19th conference of the AIC concluded with ‘one mind, one heart and one vision’. AIC, the overseas wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) held its national conference on February 5-6, 2022.

The solidarity rally, held late afternoon on Saturday, February 5 was attended by over two hundred enthusiastic Party members and sympathisers from all over Britain and Ireland. The participants representing thirty branches of the AIC were greeted with messages from CPI(M) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member and chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan.  Harsev Bains, secretary of the AIC and Robin Talbot, the chair of the Young Communists League, extended their solidarity to the assembled delegates.

On Sunday morning, February 6, the delegate conference started with the hoisting of the red flag by the senior-most delegate of the conference, Ajit Dosanjh - 90 years of age. This was followed by the delegates and volunteers paying their respect to the martyrs across the globe.

The chairman of the organising committee of the conference Binoj John welcomed delegates to the conference. Various committees – the steering committee, presidium, minutes and credentials - were elected for the smooth functioning of the conference.

The delegate session of the conference was inaugurated by Sitaram Yechury, online. He spoke in detail about the international political situation, the current political and social environment in India and how the right-wing forces are trying to dismantle the secular fabric of India.

After the inauguration, the report on behalf of the executive committee was presented before the conference by Harsev Bains. The report detailed the activities undertaken by the AIC in the last four-year period. The report highlighted the growth of the AIC in Britain and Ireland during this period with the formation of new branches. AIC  national secretariat member, Rajinder Bains presented the finance report.

Yechury in his address to the conference set the scene for the 23rd Party Congress. He described in detail the contradiction of US imperialism with China, Russia and Latin America, particularly Cuba, Venezuela and Chile.  He called for the ending of the 60-year-old economic blockade of Cuba by the USA.  Describing the political scene in India, he stated that “the four fundamental pillars of Indian constitution; democracy, secularism, social justice and federalism are under attack.” The government of India is enacting legislation through ordinances without discussions in parliament.  The institutional bodies and media are hijacked by the BJP/ RSS for silencing the voices of the opposition. He urged the delegates of AIC, as the outpost of Indian democracy “to mobilise secular forces to fight the policies of the communalist, nationalist jingoistic fascistic Modi led government. save India, save Indian democracy. “

The general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, Rob Griffiths addressed the delegates. Griffiths criticised the imperialist forces for fuelling tension across the world and demanded a stop to the growing ‘military production’ and to focus on production for civilians.

Rob Griffiths, raised concerns that resonated with the AIC delegates, about the shift of the Labour Party to right-wing politics and suggested there is no longer much difference in the policies between Labour under and Conservatives. It’s no longer just a question of replacing Boris Johnson with another, but a revolutionary shift towards the road to socialism

In the meantime, economic exploitation by multinational corporations are squeezing the poor, the working class and middle class in the UK to a limit where even normal living conditions are not accessible.

Urged AIC to join with the left and progressive forces to fill the vacuum formed in the left politics across the UK.

Following the presentation of the executive committee report, the delegates discussed the report and put forward their points. After the discussion, the secretary replied to the comments made by the delegates. With the additional comments and corrections accepted by the EC, the report to the 19th conference was adopted unanimously.

A 13-member executive committee was elected in the meeting to lead the Party till the next conference and elected three special invitees to the executive committee The executive committee re-elected Harsev Bains as the secretary of the AIC unit of the Party.

Rajesh Krishna, convener of the organising committee presented a vote of thanks.

In this conference, there were more women and young delegates compared to previous conferences.  The AIC has set itself an immediate task to increase female representation at all levels.  With renewed confidence, the conference concluded by echoing the words by the Nottingham branch secretary Xavier Dominic, in his inspirational appeal to the delegates to achieve the goals of the conference “with one mind, one heart and one vision”.