RYA’s National Conference at Varanasi

The Second National Confrence of RYA took place in Subhash Mukherjee Hall (Nagar Nigam Hall), at Vinod Mishra Nagar (Varanasi) on Dec. 23,24. The conference was preceded by an impressive Youth March covering the main areas of the city, which is the politico-cultural centre of eastern U.P. and western Bihar. The main slogan of the march Mandir Nahin, Rojgar Do, Jeene Ka Adhikar Do! (Not a temple, we want jobs; we want the right to live!) was welcomed by the mixed populace of the city. The march culminated in the open session of the conference which was inaugurated by Comrade Akhilendra Pratap Singh, PBM, CPI(ML). Com. Akhilendra dealt at length with the current national political situation and called upon the youth to march for progressive nationalism and democracy and join hands with the rising struggles of peasants and workers. The call given by Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, CPI(ML) General Secretary, Let’s Turn Ayodhya into the Sangh Parivar’s Waterloo was read out as a message for the conference. The call was received with thunderous applause. Comrade Ajay Singh, General Secretary of Jan Sanskriti Manch sent his greetings for the conference and expressed solidarity with the struggle of the youth against the saffron offensive. Among other guests who addressed the delegates were Mr. Sunil Yadav, GS AISA, Shri Krishna Avtar Pandey, Ex-Director basic education, U.P., Mahboob Alam, CPI(ML) MLA, Bihar , Ambarish Rai a CPI(ML) leader in U.P., and Hindi critic Shri Krishna Mohan.

A six-member presidium comprising Com. Raja Ram Singh, Jayatu Deshmukh, Kamlesh Sharma, Md. Salim, Robin Goswami and Viduthalai Kumaran conducted the proceedings of the conference. The delegate session started with the presentation of the GS’ report on behalf of the outgoing national council. The report dealt with the objective situation of today, which is full of great prospects for the revolutionary youth movement, and called for overcoming organisational weaknesses in RYA, so as to make full use of the emerging situation. It noted with great concern the limited base of the organisation reflected in low membership and RYA’s dependence on CPI(ML) for mass mobilisation and cadre force etc. It attributed relative isolation from the broad youth community to a superficial work style and casual approach towards organisation building. The report emphasised launching struggles on popular issues at the grassroots, expanding RYA beyond party’s base, making serious efforts for organisation building and making prompt intervention on crucial issues. The report said, “RYA must emerge as natural, representative organisation of the youth in localities at the grassroots and hence all RYA cadres must establish organic linkage with broader youth at grassroots, champion their popular issues and play vanguard role in all democratic struggles of the people. Instead of general, roving style of work, every cadre and leader must concentrate in some locality, develop struggles and build organisation below. We must realise that effective intervention is possible only on the basis of powerful bases below.”

A lively discussion took place centering the report. Out of around 500 delegates, guests and observers participating in the conference, some 80 persons expressed their views. Later the report was unanimously adopted. In the concluding session, the new national council comprising 91 persons (some places being left vacant for some states) was elected by the conference, which in turn elected a 21-member national executive and a team of office bearers. Com. Mithilesh Yadav and Lal Bahadur Singh were elected President and General Secretary respectively while Jayatu Deshmukh, Md. Salim as Vice-Presidents and Kamlesh Sharma, Robin Goswami and Viduthalai Kumaran as Secretaries. Com. Rajaram Singh, outgoing President of RYA, having relieved himself from the youth front to take-up responsibilities on the peasant front, was given a warm farewell. He was presented a memento as mark of appreciation for the painstaking work he did as a leader of RYA.

In an important resolution, the national conference demanded building of a national monument in Ayodhaya, which along with the whole Avadh region was witness to one of the most heroic battles of the first war of independence in 1857. And lastly, Com. Mithilesh Yadav, the newly elected President addressed the delegates and called upon them to carry the message of the conference throughout the country. The conference fixed targets to recruit one lakh members during 2001 and form state committees through conferences in all major states. The conference resolved to set up its national headquarters and bring out a bulletin.

-- Lal Bahadur Singh