CPI(M) Holds Workshop on Caste Oppression for Hindi States
THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) held a two-day workshop on caste oppression for the Hindi speaking states. 68 comrades from 10 states attended the workshop. The workshop underscored that for developing the Party and the Left and democratic movement in the Hindi-speaking states, it is essential to take up social issues. Among the various social problems, the major issue is of the deep-rooted caste system and the caste oppression engendered by it. Class exploitation and caste oppression are inextricably intertwined. For a powerful agrarian movement to be developed where a big section of the rural poor particularly the agricultural workers come from the dalit castes, it is necessary that the question of caste oppression is taken up along with the class issues, the workshop reiterated.
Brinda Karat, Polit Bureau member of the Party presided over the meeting. Sitaram Yechury, Party general secretary inaugurated the workshop. Prakash Karat and B V Raghavulu, Party Polit Bureau members placed the note for discussion and the note on experiences of Andhra Pradesh (undivided one) and Tamil Nadu, respectively. Karat summed up the discussions and placed the future tasks.
The workshop, after hearing the discussions and experiences of the states, decided that such workshops will be organised at the state level in the coming three months. A survey on the issues and forms of caste oppression and discrimination will be held in the states. And, based on the report of the survey, struggles will be organised on the issues identified. The workshop has also concretely made the following suggestions.
(i) Take up general policy issues concerning the dalits (and where relevant the extremely backward castes) like the allocation of funds for the special-component plan; non-implementation of welfare schemes; ineffective use of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act; provision of adequate educational facilities and scholarships; filling of reserved posts in government services etc.
(ii) Hold a workshop at the state/district level before launching the campaign.
(iii) Surveys should be conducted in specific villages/areas. This will help us to identify the immediate issues to be taken up.
(iv) Plan campaigns which will result in struggles against caste discrimination and untouchability. For launching the campaign, form a broad based committee consisting of the Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM) and other mass organisations, NGOs, social activists and local intelligentsia.
(v) Plan for sustained struggles. Leaders of the district and state level should participate in the struggle. Involve prominent citizens, leaders of social reform movements and progressive religious figures.