Summary of Polit Bureau Deliberations

[New Delhi, 17-18 August, 2001]


National Situation, August 9 Campaign and Tasks Ahead

The August 9 call for rail and road blockade and/or court arrest programmes to press for the resignation of the Vajpayee government evoked a good response. Programmes were undertaken in almost all our areas of work and nearly 50,000 people came out on the streets. The failed Agra summit, the UTI scam and allegations of corruption against the PMO, the crisis in the North-East over the politics of cease-fire, the killings in Jammu and Kashmir and the growing rifts within NDA mark a critical juncture for the Vajpayee government. While Vajpayee’s rating as Prime Minister and leader of the NDA coalition hitting an all-time low, Advani seems to have gained in stature and he is striking an increasingly assertive and aggressive posture. The balance within the Sangh parivar has become all the more delicate and the saffron establishment is hurtling from one crisis to another. From industry and agriculture to education and culture, the government is on the dock on all fronts. UP elections are only a few months away and with every passing day the battle lines are being drawn ever more sharply. The situation is therefore ripe for mounting a powerful mass offensive against the crisis-ridden saffron regime.

We must now carry forward the campaign linking it with the forthcoming conferences of Party committees and mass organisations and also with the elections we will be facing at different levels in different states. The forthcoming rally and all-India meet of peasant leaders and activists at Mansa in Punjab (10-11 September), AICCTU’s all-India conference (Dhanbad, 8-10 October) and the proposed peasant demonstration in Delhi in November provide excellent opportunities for stepping up the mass political campaign for the resignation of the Vajpayee government. Membership campaigns of other mass organisations like AISA, RYA and AIPWA, and the conferences of agricultural labour organisations should also be linked with this common thread.

Membership Year for Mass Organisations

The coordination committee of peasant organisations is actively preparing for the Mansa conference and the November demonstration in Delhi. The All-India initiative can however only be sustained on the basis of regular state and district-level activities.

On the agricultural labour front, we must complete the task of building district- and state-level organisations by the end of this year so that we can plan some all-India initiative in the coming year. Like the all-India peasant conference and demonstration, we should conduct a countrywide campaign early next year on the question of round-the-year employment and wages of agricultural workers and other rural labourers, pressing once again for a central legislation for agricultural labourers.

Central Party School

The dates for the next Central Party School have been tentatively fixed on November 27-30 and the venue is Nagbhushan Memorial Centre, Bhubaneshwar.

The syllabus for the school shall comprise broadly the following three subjects: (i) Globalisation and anti-globalisation struggles including the Indian experience, (ii) the Agrarian Question with special reference to the conditions and struggles of agricultural workers, the present agrarian crisis, the agrarian strategy and new agriculture policy, feudal remnants and development of capitalism in Indian agriculture, and (iii) some topical political and theoretical questions like communal fascism, regional parties and federalism in the era of neo-liberal economic policies, panchayati raj, caste and class, etc.

On all these subjects we already have a body of Marxist literature including our own Party literature (Party documents and writings appearing in Party central organs). Taking this literature as the theoretical background, the CC invites questions/debates/critical comments from whoever is interested in any of these subjects. The notes for the school will be prepared on the basis of the inputs received within September 30.

Nagbhushan Memorial Centre

As we have just mentioned, the central Party school will be held at Nagbhushan Memrial Centre, Bhubaneshwar. But we still have a long way to go to complete the planned construction of the centre. The funds that were raised for the purpose have already been spent and the estimated cost is daily escalating. We need at least Rs. 5 lakh to get the centre into a modest functional shape. Comrades in Orissa have resolved to do all they can for this purpose. The PB appeals to all other State Committees and Party members, supporters and friends to extend their generous support in whatever form possible for this cause. We visualise the Nagbhushan memorial centre not just as a building to preserve the legacy of Comrade Nagbhushan but as an institution dedicated to promote progressive thought and practice in Orissa.