DYFI All India Conference: Call to Defend Secular Democracy Fight for the right to work
From Our Correspondent
DYFI ALL India Conference called upon the youth of India to defend the secular democratic structure of the country with all vigour. The 11th conference vowed to mobilise more and more youth in the struggle against anti-people policies.
The conference began with a huge rally on May 12, in Kolkata. This was the biggest youth rally of recent times. Thousands of youth joined in Rani Rasmoni Road, an area which witnessed many historical rallies and movements in the past. Two colourful, energetic processions from three sides of the city marched with DYFI flags.
Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of CPI(M), while addressing the rally said, the politics of bulldozers do not make history, it is people who make it. The youth of the country is facing a troubled time. The prime minister promised two crore jobs per year. Instead, the rate of unemployment has reached an all-time high. Such is the crisis that the youth has stopped searching for jobs. The reactionary communal forces are using sections of youth for their ulterior purpose. BJP is spreading communal venom to destroy the democratic structure of the country. Minorities are being attacked and the prime minister remains silent. In West Bengal, TMC is busy competing with BJP in the communal drive. In this way, one can only bolster BJP and not defeat them. The task of today’s youth movement must be to fight these forces to achieve their justified demands of employment, education and livelihood.
Mohammad Salim, former general secretary of DYFI, said, “The ruling party in West Bengal has chased away hundreds of youth from their houses but could not desist them from marching into streets. They have not been able to desist from marching with ideology. In BJP-ruled states, the sedition act is being used against the protestors. In West Bengal dissenters are being killed even by the police. But neither bulldozer nor these attacks can stop the forward march of the people.
DYFI general secretary, Abhoy Mukherjee asserted that DYFI is committed to protecting the secular democracy and uniting all sections of youth for the right to work.
Other speakers included DYFI West Bengal state secretary, Meenakkhi Mukherjee and A A Rahim, who presided over the rally. Rahim stressed the Left alternative for the advancement of the country.
Salim Khan, the father of Anis Khan, killed by police and Amala Mandal, mother of Bidyut Mandal, martyred in the attack by TMC goons were also present on the dais.
The delegate session was held in Diego Maradona Nagar (EZCC Salt Lake) at Saheed Mancha. DYFI flag was hoisted by Mohammad Riays in a wonderfully decorated venue. The presidium consisted of A A Rahim, Meenakshi Mukherjee, Balavelan, Palash Bhowmick, Sanjay Paswan, Kumud Debbarman .
The conference was inaugurated by eminent public intellectual Sashi Kumar. In his address, Kumar said, there is an undeclared emergency in the country. The democratic structure is being methodically destroyed and that has also endangered secularism. The victim includes the constitution. The freedom of expression is being threatened, media is silenced. Even the judiciary is under pressure from the ruling party. The ideology of RSS is to change the whole concept of India as we know it. It is the task of the youth to resist it and fight for a better world.
The first session was addressed by Hannan Mollah, the first general secretary of DYFI and now general secretary of AIKS; Mariam Dhawale of AIDWA, Mayukh Biswas of SFI.
Abhoy Mukherjee while placing the report explained the international background and the rise of rightist forces. He said the ruling party in India is distracting people as well as the youth by communal divisive agenda while the real issues of employment and livelihood are being ignored. The democratic youth movement has to focus on the right to work as well as on defending the secular fabric of the country. Despite attacks and difficulties, DYFI has expanded and its membership has grown.
In a special session, former leaders of DYFI shared their advice for the activists of today. M A Baby, former president of DYFI, emphasised the independent functioning of the organisation, creativity, and expansion of communication through different methods. He also underlined the need to induct more and more young women into the organisation. Mohammad Salim called upon the youth to build sharper resistance to reactionary politics. Hannan Mollah said DYFI has to take a programme that can touch young minds. M B Rajesh and Tapas Sinha also addressed this session.
REPORTS FROM DELEGATES
In their discussion of the report, the delegates from different states have presented the gloomy situation for the youth in the country. Acute unemployment, loss of jobs, and commercialisation of education have pushed a large section of youth to frustration. Delegates also described the struggles that DYFI has developed in surmounting challenging situations. In BJP-ruled states like Tripura, a fascistic attack on the democratic movement is challenged by youths in the streets. Delegates from West Bengal described how they have to face police brutality when demanding jobs or justice for the murder of youths. Still, DYFI has been able to increase its membership in the state. Delegates from Jammu and Kashmir narrated the strong-arm tactics of the ruling forces and the alienation of the Kashmiri youth. Delegates from Punjab expressed the danger of the drug menace and the fight against it.
DYFI delegates also proposed new avenues of building struggle and strengthening the organisation. The fight for alternative culture, an all India movement to defend the environment, a larger movement to fight atrocities against women, a more intensive social movement, work among backward sections of the society, and fight for the rights of minorities are some of them.
A total of 53 delegates participated in the discussion among 450 who attended, seven of them were young women. In his reply, Abhoy Mukherjee emphasised that the defence of secular democracy has become the main task of the youth movement. It has to be combined with issues of livelihood and local level issues. State centres must be strengthened. More effort will be given to social media campaigns. DYFI will be ready to face the onslaught on democracy, he asserted.
Apart from the delegate session, there were streams of programmes surrounding the conference. A seminar on alternative policies was addressed among others by M B Rajesh. Painters coloured their canvas and delegation of every state received these paintings as gifts. A People’s Court was held on the question of democracy and the constitution. Families of martyrs from different states were honoured on the conference dais itself.
The conference elected a 77 member CEC with 18 members central secretariat. A A Rahim was elected as president, Himaghnaraj Bhattacharya as general secretary, and Sanjeev Kumar as the treasurer.