August 27, 2023

Maha: DYFI Holds State-Level Study Camp

Datta Chavan

THE Maharashtra state committee of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) organised a three-day study camp for its leading cadre from July 21-23, 2023 at Adarsh Vidyalaya Chembur, Mumbai, in an atmosphere of great enthusiasm. 181 delegates from across the state participated in this camp, overcoming the difficult conditions of torrential rains in Mumbai.

Ram Puniyani, well-known writer and activist, inaugurated the camp on July 21. He exhorted the youth to rally against the communal forces who are spreading hatred in the name of religion. He explained the history of rulers in the pre-medieval and medieval period in detail, a history which has never been part of our curriculum and which is disappearing from our history text books of late. He said that a sense of love, brotherhood and unity has to be promoted in place of hatred which is being enforced by attacking minorities across the country.

Former DYFI leaders Ashok Dhawale and Preethy Sekhar delivered lectures in the study camp. Former DYFI leaders S K Rege and Shailendra Kamble greeted the study camp.

AIKS president Ashok Dhawale dwelt at length on the history of Hindutva communalism in India and stressed its early links with fascism in Italy and Germany. Hindutva forces have always been in the camp of the enemies of the people. The RSS, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League all played the role of serving the British imperialist strategy of 'divide and rule' by trying to disrupt our freedom struggle on communal lines. This eventually culminated in the chilling bloodshed of partition and the dastardly assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The Hindutva world-view is an obscurantist ideology, it stands for perpetuation of the condemnable caste structure, it accords inferior status to women, it is against spreading scientific temper, and it considers the Left as its deadly enemy. Today, the Sangh Parivar and the BJP regime are unleashing a two-fold strategy: intensifying the assaults on socio-economic rights of the people by its shameless pro-corporate policies, and aggressively promoting communal hatred to splinter people’s unity. They want to sell off the country; they want to divide the country. The DYFI as an organisation of secular and progressive youth has a major role to play in this task of unifying people and building mass movements against the Hindutva communal forces.

Former DYFI Maharashtra state secretary Preethy Sekhar made a detailed presentation on the organisational aspects of building the democratic youth movement. She explained the anti-imperialist, socialist and democratic values on the basis of which the youth movement has been built. She reiterated the need to organise common youth of both villages and towns and also stressed the need to mobilise young women. Organisation building has to be done by intensifying the mass membership drive, forming active units in all districts, and thus building formidable teams of activists at all levels.

Jaick Thomas from DYFI all India centre presented the topic of how to build a mass movement and how to achieve publicity along with struggles. He reiterated the importance of taking up local issues along with wider struggles and carrying out consistent work on those local issues. This is necessary to gain the confidence of people in areas. For conducting a successful agitation, you need to understand the issue in detail and declare struggle with proper demands. It is important to carry people along, so that they will be part of the struggle in a big way.

R Ramakumar, professor, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, spoke about “Unemployment – an Epidemic”. He elucidated the causes of unemployment. One of the biggest issues faced by people around the world is the growing strength of the rightwing. Demographically, there are advantages when people between the working ages of 15 and 60 grow in a country. Those people will work more, it helps to strengthen the economy of the country, after a stage it benefits the country. But there should also be a government which will strive to make this happen. Currently more than 50 per cent of India’s population is in this age group, still unemployment is spreading like an epidemic. A huge unemployed army of youth is growing in the country. He underlined the need to gather the common youth in the struggle against unemployment.

In the concluding session, Uday Narkar, state vice president of the AIKS, spoke on the current socio-political scenario and the major challenges. In his speech, he explained how the state and central governments are cheating the common people. Our governments are giving shelter to criminals. Government institutions like ED are being used to suppress the voices of the opposition and eliminate the opponents. He gave the example of the corrupt and immoral splitting of the Shiv Sena and the NCP by the BJP. The government has failed to deal with the burning issues of the people. There is a big call before us to take the youth out of this pit of hatred and organise them on real issues like unemployment.

DYFI state journal 'Yuva Sangharsh' July issue was released in the study camp by Ashok Dhawale.
The camp ended with DYFI state secretary Datta Chavan outlining the state committee's decisions setting out a clear path forward for developing consistent struggles and expanding the democratic youth movement rapidly in Maharashtra. It was decided to: launch a concerted membership drive and thus spread influence among youth rapidly, linking it to strengthening the organisation from the primary units upwards; organise youth in the state against the insensitive Modi and Biren Singh governments in Manipur; struggles against unemployment will be held on August 24, Shaheed Rajguru birth anniversary, in all districts; receptions to the DYFI national jatha will be planned and successfully executed in the month of September 2023 and statewide march against unemployment will be held in the month of November 2023. Extensive campaign will be taken up across Maharashtra to ensure participation of common youth in a big way.

The camp ended with a rousing call by DYFI state president Nandu Hadal to take on the coming challenges with grit and determination.

DYFI volunteers from Mumbai with help from other fraternal organisations made excellent arrangements for this camp. They were all profusely thanked amidst cheers.