THE 12th Maharashtra state conference of the DYFI held at Umberpada in Surgana Taluka of Palghar district from April 23-25, 2022, resolved to rapidly expand the youth movement and organisation to meet the threats posed by the murderous rightwing offensive and the grave unemployment situation.
In connection with the conference, a massive youth rally and a public meeting were organised on April 23. Thousands of DYFI activists from Nashik district participated in the rally held at Umberthan, Surgana Taluka. Youth from Gujarat, who are affected by the river linking project, also joined the march in large numbers. The huge rally culminated in a public meeting at Umberthan Bazar Peth.
DYFI general secretary, Abhoy Mukherjee, AIKS president and former DYFI vice-president Ashok Dhawale, AIKS leaders, J P Gavit, ex-MLA, and Uday Narkar, DYFI state president, Sunil Dhanwa, state secretary, Preethy Sekhar and state vice-president, Indrajit Gavit addressed the public meeting. Leaders of the agitation from Gujarat also addressed the gathering.
The speakers drew attention to the double offensive unleashed by the BJP-led central and state regimes. On the one hand, there is a savage assault on the livelihood of the poor and rising unemployment. On the other hand, disruptive social forces are out in the open mercilessly attacking minorities, women and dalits. Ashok Dhawale dwelt on the living conditions and employment opportunities which are declining and violent attacks on socially oppressed sections are rising. All speakers stressed the need of protecting the people who will be losing their land and livelihood due to the river linking project. National leaders of DYFI reiterated the rising issue of unemployment and the need of a stronger movement against it.
The Yuva Sahitya and Yuva Photographer awards of 2022, instituted by 'Yuva Sangharsh', journal of Maharashtra DYFI were presented during the public meeting by Ashok Dhawale and J P Gavit respectively. Jyoti Kiran Kiratkudve from Mumbai won the literary award and Kalpesh Sanjay Pawar from Mumbai won the photographer award.
The delegate session of the conference began on April 23 evening. There were 369 delegates from 19 districts and 10 fraternal delegates from the SFI. A presidium consisting of Sunil Dhanwa, Ajay Burande, Ganesh Darade, Indrajit Gavit, Laxmi Shamanthul, Indrajit Gavit and Laxmi Shamantul chaired the conference.
Uttam Kamble, a famous writer and journalist inaugurated the conference. In his inaugural address, he explained how the climate of intimidation has come to prevail all over the country and freedom of expression is being taken away. He referred to the film Kashmir Files, as a cultural war declared by the Sangh Parivar on us. He reiterated the need for struggles against unemployment and the commercialisation of education and also the need for the democratic youth movement to step up its resistance in this situation.
Preethy Sekhar presented the conference report. The report described DYFI's efforts at building a movement against unemployment, especially on the question of a ban on recruitment in government departments and public sector undertakings, struggle against communalism and relief activities during the Covid pandemic. The DYFI's campaigns and consistent propaganda work against discrimination towards women, atrocities on dalits and campaign against communalism were also described in the report. Reviewing the experience of various struggles against unemployment, youth march against CAA-NRC-NPR and unemployment, the report stressed the need for the DYFI to develop itself as a unifying force among youth belonging to all castes and religions in villages and towns, coordinating them toward collective action against unemployment and commercialisation of education.
There has been considerable improvement in the organisation as far as membership and formation of new district committees are concerned. The membership figure for 2021 has been finalised and is 1,58,888. District-level committees were formed in two new districts during the last conference period. There is work in 19 districts as of now and the conference has decided to expand our presence to other districts.
A total of 58 delegates participated in the discussion on the report on behalf of 19 districts. The total time spent on the discussion was six hours. Apart from pointing out organisational weaknesses, delegates emphasised the increased relevance of the DYFI in the present context. The need to increase young women's participation in DYFI and a much stronger movement against unemployment was also pointed out. The need to address environmental issues and also cultural domains was also pointed out. After the state secretary's reply to the discussion, the report was adopted unanimously.
In all, 14 resolutions on various issues were adopted by the conference. Convenor Mohan Jadhav presented the credentials report. The conference was greeted by Sitaram Thombre (CITU), Ajit Nawale (AIKS), Maroti Khandare (AIAWU) and Rohidas Jadhav (SFI).
The conference unanimously elected a 55-member new state committee, which in turn elected a 19-member state secretariat. Nandu Hadal was elected as president, Balaji Kaletwad was elected as secretary and Mahendra Ughade as treasurer. Indrajit Gavit, Mohan Jadhav, Munna Kalburgi, Laxmi Shamanthul, Kailas Balsane and Sanjay Kamble were elected as vice-presidents; Nasir Shaikh, Appa Vatane, Sudam Thakre, Anil Wasam, Sanjeev Shamanthul and Rajesh Dalvi were elected as joint secretaries; Nitin Kakra, Krunal Sawant and Kishor Shinde were elected as state secretariat members. A A Rahim summed up the conference.
The conference concluded with a firm resolve to rapidly expand DYFI membership and the movement and organisation in Maharashtra and to take up the fight against unemployment and communalism with renewed vigour.