By B Prasant
IN its recent two-day meeting at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan in Kolkata, held over June 26-27, 2010 the Bengal CPI (M) probed the recent political events, spoke about organisational matters, and issued a call for augmentation of struggles and movements across the state – for uplift of the poverty-ridden, for progress, for development, and for strengthening grass-roots’ level democracy.
The Bengal unit of the CPI(M) never minced words to conclude also, especially while reviewing the results obtained in the civic polls, that the most salient feature of the tasks ahead would comprise refurbishing a wide and deep mass contact with the people, especially with and amidst the poor and the downtrodden, something that has always been a hallmark feature of the Party organisation’s political initiative.
A total of 34 members of the state committee took part in the discussion. Biman Basu, secretary, Bengal unit of the CPI(M) spoke on certain important political-organisational issues. His conclusions were brief but strikingly relevant. He said that the political campaign-movement that had preceded the succeeding elections that took place in Bengal, for the Lok Sabha, for the panchayats and for the urban and semi-urban civic bodies, never quite penetrated the consciousness of the masses enough, and would thereby affect adversely, along with other factors, the task of building and rebuilding mass contact in ever wider circles.
Biman Basu also pointed out appropriately enough in the backdrop of the Bengal political scene, that the intimacy of relations with the poor that had always marked the Communist Party’s political-organisational activities was found to be absent in places, vital and important. Yet, the results of the polls presented a variegated statistical aggregate.
In places where the Party had lost ground in the Lok Sabha, and the panchayats, the picture was favourable when looking at the civic poll results. The vote share of the Left Front showed an uneven curve across the state, even within a civic body, ward-based. The CPI(M) Polit Bureau member had two succinct points to make by way of conclusion. First, the Party must forge ahead with renewed confidence by accelerating organisational initiative, and playing thereby a conscious historical role in the interest of the masses. Second, equally important in the circumstances that prevail, the unity and integrity of the Bengal Left Front must be further enhanced and widened.
Chief minister and Polit Bureau member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee also, like Biman Basu, noted the distance created between the Party and the poor people. He, however, believed that this is not the general picture, as prevailing in Bengal at this point in time. Yet, Buddhadeb too thought, that the chief political task that lies ahead in the days to come, must comprise of rebuilding the bridges with the poor. There must not be development sans struggle and movements based on the class basis, and yet, one has also to recall that the struggles and movements assume larger dimensions as developmental programmes are implemented. One must learn and learn well from events and circumstances, draw the correct lessons, exercise prudence, and then forge ahead.
Buddhadeb explicated the priority sectors of the state Left Front government. He informed the meeting that the government prioritises the following:
Homestead land for the khet mazdoors, and for the rural and urban poor
Buying up land, distributing them amongst the kisans, and thereby advancing the movement for land reforms
Implementing employment-generating schemes in the urban conurbations
Quickening the pace of patta distribution in the forest areas
Pacing up the process of providing members of the SC and ST with appropriate certification
Carrying on briskly the work of including names in the list of OBC minorities, and accelerating the work of certification
Filling up vacancies in the posts of school teachers
Implementing the scheme of social security of the unorganised workers
Speeding up the process of providing ration cards to those who were in the BPL category
The state committee identified the following tasks:
A wide people’s struggle must be built up against the rising prices of essential commodities as well of petroleum products
A stream of continuous struggle must be organised in every district against the attempts being made at creating anarchy, lawlessness, and terror
Campaign-movements to be organised against the union government’s stand on the question of the Bhopal tragedy, and on the issue of nuclear civil liability
A struggle must be built up for the filling up of the myriad of vacancies in the various departments of the union government while keeping alive and to the fore the struggle against privatisation and disinvestment
Movements must be built up in support of implementation of the declared industrial projects
Movements to be built up in favour of making permanent all those workers-employees who have worked for ten years or more as casual workers
Movements to be started for revision of the BPL list and for issuance of fresh ration cards
Movements to be initiated for the quick issuance of certificates for SC, ST, and OBC populace
Struggle must be organised for the reaffirmation of the democratic rights of all people of Bankura, Purulia, and Midnapore west, and for the sake of safeguarding of democracy
Movements must be built up to ensure that the persons rendered homeless and driven away from hearth must be rehabilitated and be able to lead a life of peace and normalcy
A mass initiative must be unleashed from amongst all sections of the democratic masses for peace, order, and a democratic ambience -- in the villages as in the urban stretches
Planned drive must be taken in the rural areas to enhance employment, and much in a similar vain, a drive is needed in the urban areas on behalf of the Party and the mass organisations to emote an effective role
The Party and the Left Front must take part in a massive way centering on the demands from the central and the state government, the different mass organisations of the workers, peasants, students, youth, women, teachers, employees must organise independent programmes and movements in conjunction with the other Left mass organisations
Movements must be built up under the aegis of the mass organisations for the successful implementation of the state government’s development programmes
The state committee has focussed attention on the following organisational matters:
Activities of the Party workers at every level must be increased
Mass organisations must be made more active
Party workers must be educated
Popular lectures and political education camps must be organised
Mass organisations must build up a network of teaching of the children of the poor, of the working class, and of the peasants
A specific plan is to be drafted and implemented in the field of mass literacy
Organisational measures must be put in place to engage deep and wide mass contact, individually and family-based
Regular meetings must be organised in the localities, neighbourhoods, urban areas, and working class belts
The Party must move resolutely forward and transform the antithetical circumstances the people face.