All for a Bigger, Stronger and More Dynamic Party Organisation Having Closer Ties with the Masses and Greater Unity with Diverse Democratic Forces
22 April, 2015 marks the forty-sixth anniversary of the foundation of the CPI(ML). It goes without saying that we are passing through a particularly critical juncture in the life of modern India and obviously also in our own party history. For the first time we have a BJP majority government at the Centre along with BJP-led governments in several states. The NarendraModi government came to power in last May promising improved living conditions, reduced prices, more jobs and better governance. But the reality has been just the opposite: soaring prices, vanishing jobs, heightened communal attacks, violence against women and dalits and various oppressed sections and minority groups, intensified corporate plunder and systematic assault on people’s welfare and democratic rights. As the revolutionary party of the Indian people we must combat this corporate-communal offensive with all our might.The people's resistance against the neo-liberal assault of austerity has acquired great momentum in many parts of the world, bringing the Left to the forefront in several countries of Latin America and Europe. We must seize the moment and mount a determined counter-offensive of the people against the Modi government.
Throughout the last year, the Party has been working on a three-point plan to face the challenges of the day – strengthening the Party’s ties with the masses, raising the level of unity and cooperation with other fighting forces and expanding and streamlining the Party organisation. We have surely made some progress in all these three priority areas – the challenge now is to advance the process and consolidate the gains. On the forty-sixth anniversary of Party foundation, let the entire Party rededicate itself to this goal with renewed energy and determination. Let us look at the broad contours of our initiatives and tasks on all these three fronts. To strengthen the Party’s ties with the masses, we need to infuse all our mass organisations with new strength, ideas and initiatives. The Party undertook a massive socio-economic survey in Bihar, reaching out to more than 200,000 families, mostly but not exclusively rural, to ascertain their key immediate demands in terms of not just land and livelihood but also other basic rights like shelter, education, health and hygiene and basic infrastructure. The survey findings have given us a renewed impetus not only to intensify the battle for land and tenancy rights, but also to organise the newly emerging segments of working people who are subjected to abysmally low remuneration without any security or recognition of their work. Our recent successes in organising the entire range of honorarium-based and contractual employees in Bihar have added a whole new dimension to our work among the rural poor and other sections of the working people, especially among the educated youth and working women.
The AIALA has just successfully held its 5th All India Conference in Bhubaneswar with a membership base of close to two millions. Alongside agricultural labour, it has now decided to pay greater attention to organising non-farm rural workers so as to address the issues of rural workers in a more comprehensive and integrated manner. The peasant organisation is in the midst of a countrywide campaign against the Modi government’s land grab ordinance. The trade union centre and student organisation are also getting ready to hold their national conferences. Given the policy offensive of the Modi government and the growing unrest among various sections of the people, the coming days will call for serious mass work and determined initiatives to strengthen our network of mass organisations and raise the level of mass mobilisation and agitations.
The last one year has also witnessed the development of several new possibilities and initiatives in the Party’s relations with a broad spectrum of progressive forces. The emergence of the All India People’s Forum as a united platform of cooperation and action bringing together a broad range of Left and socialist forces, social movements, trade unions and other mass organisations, civil libertarians, progressive academics and other concerned citizens marks a new experiment in the world of united platforms. Relations among fighting mass organisations and a whole range of Left parties have also acquired a new momentum both nationally and in several states. Given the degree and scale of the corporate-communal offensive spearheaded by the Modi government, democratic forces must also develop and demonstrate greater unity, purposeful cooperation and concerted action to defend the resources and rights of the people and the democratic space, processes and institutions of the country. We must nurture the growing potential of movement-oriented unity among democratic forces with all our strength.
To realise the prospects of bigger mobilisation of the masses and greater unity among diverse forces, the revolutionary party must of course increase its strength, capacity and credibility. Defying defeats in elections or decline in votes, our experience has revealed large potential of Party expansion in new as well as old areas of work. In order that this expansion can be continuous, systematic and consolidated, we must organise the entire Party membership in functional Party branches under a dynamic committee system under the leadership of the Central Committee and State Committees right down to hundreds of local committees. Only the sustained hard work of tens of thousands of organised and active Party members and a vibrant democratic environment of consultative decision-making and collective functioning can take the Party forward towards our cherished objectives. Let the entire Party exert itself to complete the unfulfilled tasks and unachieved targets of the Party expansion campaign launched on July 28, 2014 so that the forthcoming Central Party Workshop (Lucknow, 30-31 May) can sum up the experiences and arm the Party with appropriate lessons and the urge and vision for greater achievements in the coming days.