Vol. XLIII No. 14 April 07, 2019
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MAHARASHTRA: DYFI Holds Eleventh State Conference

Preethy Sekhar

THE 11th Maharashtra state conference of the DYFI held at Wada in Palghar district on January 11-13, 2019, resolved to rapidly expand the youth movement and organisation to meet the challenges posed by the murderous rightwing offensive. In connection with the conference, a massive youth rally and public meeting were organised on January 11. Thousands of DYFI activists from Palghar district participated in the rally held at Wada.

DYFI national president Mohamed Riyas, DYFI national general secretary Avoy Mukherjee, AIKS national president and former DYFI national vice president Ashok Dhawale, AIDWA national general secretary Mariam Dhawale, DYFI Kerala state secretary A A Rahim and DYFI state secretary Preethy Sekhar addressed the public meeting. DYFI state president Sunil Dhanva presided and welcomed the assembly.

All the speakers drew attention to the double offensive unleashed by the BJP-led central and state regimes. On the one hand, there is a savage assault on the livelihood of the poor and rising unemployment. On the other hand, disruptive social forces are out in the open mercilessly attacking minorities, women and dalits. Ashok Dhawale dwelt on the situation in Maharashtra where living conditions and employment opportunities are declining and violent attacks on socially oppressed sections are rising. Mariam Dhawale explained how citizens’ rights are being taken away with the BJP’s ascendance to power. National leaders of DYFI reiterated the rising issue of unemployment and the need of a stronger movement against it.

The delegate session of the conference began on January 11 evening. There were 220 delegates from 19 districts and 10 fraternal delegates from the SFI. A presidium consisting of Sunil Dhanva, Vansha Dumada, Adv. Pradeep Salvi, Indrajit Gavit and Laxmi Shamantul chaired the conference.

Adv. Mukta Dabholkar inaugurated the conference. In her inaugural address, she explained how the climate of intimidation has come to prevail all over the country and freedom of expression is being taken away. She referred to the incident of withdrawing the invitation to Nayantara Sahgal by the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan organizers. She also explained how the investigation into the Dr Narendra Dabholkar murder case is being scuttled. She reiterated the need for joint struggles and also the need of the democratic youth movement stepping up its resistance in this situation.

The Yuva Sahitya and Photographer awards of 2019 instituted by Yuva Sangharsh, journal of Maharashtra DYFI were presented during the inaugural session by Mukta Dabholkar. Sarika Jitendra Shinde won the literary award and Abhijit Patil the photographer award.

State secretary Preethy Sekhar then presented the conference report. The report described DYFI’s efforts at building a movement against unemployment, especially on the question of ban on recruitment in government departments and public sector undertakings. The DYFI’s campaigns and consistent propaganda work against discrimination towards women, communalism and atrocities on dalits were also described in the report. The report self-critically evaluated the weaknesses in building the organisation. Reviewing the experience of the Human Chain struggle, the report stressed the need for the DYFI to develop itself as a unifying force among youth belonging to all castes and religions in villages and towns, coordinating them towards collective action against unemployment and commercialisation of education. There has been considerable improvement in the organisation as far as membership and formation of new district committees are concerned. Membership figures for 2018 are yet to be finalised. District level committees were formed in nine new districts during the last conference period. The number of district committees has increased from 12 in 2015 to 21 in 2018.

44 delegates participated in the discussion on the report on behalf of 19 districts. The total time spent on the discussion was five hours. Apart from pointing out organisational weaknesses, delegates emphasised the increased relevance of the DYFI in the present context. The need to increase young women’s participation in DYFI and a much stronger movement against unemployment were also pointed out. After the state secretary’s reply to the discussion, the report was adopted unanimously. Eight resolutions on various issues were adopted by the conference. Convenor Ashok Balla presented the credentials report.

The conference was greeted by Mahendra Singh (CITU), Kisan Gujar (AIKS), Prachi Hatiwlekar (AIDWA) and Rohidas Jadhav (SFI) on January 12.

The conference unanimously elected a 55-member new state committee, which in turn elected a 19-member state secretariat. Sunil Dhanva was re-elected the new president, Preethy Sekhar was re-elected secretary and Santosh Thakur was elected as treasurer. Ramdas Sutar, Pradeep Salvi, Ajay Burande, Indrajit Gavit and Ashok Balla were elected as vice-presidents; Kailas Balsane, Nandu Hadal, Ganesh Darade, Mahendra Ughde and Mohan Jadhav were elected as joint secretaries; Janardan Kale, Rajesh Kharpade, Anil Wasam, Laxmi Shamantul, Krunal Sawant and Kishor Shinde were elected as state secretariat members. Avoy Mukherjee summed up the conference.

The treasurer of the outgoing committee Bhaskar Patil and other leaders who got relieved from the state committee – Vansha Dumada, Kiran Gahala, Moin Ansar, Vinod Nikole, Prashant Myakal, Rajesh Suradkar and Sunil Tare were given an emotional farewell.

The conference concluded with a firm resolve to rapidly expand DYFI membership and the movement and organisation in Maharashtra and to take up the fight against unemployment and communalism with renewed vigour.