The CPI(M)’s Plenum on Organization, as mandated by the 21st Congress, convened and completed its work “by the end of 2015”. It is a creditable achievement that the CPI(M) could successfully implement this mandate within a short period of eight months.
Party Central Committee had decided on a fairly comprehensive and elaborate procedure and time table for the conduct of the Plenum. A detailed questionnaire was prepared by the Party Centre to gather extensive information from the state committees regarding the current state of affairs of the Party organisation and the details of its functioning. The replies sent by the state committees were examined and on that basis, both the Draft Report and Draft Resolution on Organization were prepared. The intensity of the preparatory work can be understood by the fact that during the period since the Party Congress and the convening of the Plenum, the Polit Bureau met separately four times and the Central Committee three times in the run-up to the Plenum.
The deliberations of the Plenum began from the late afternoon of December 27th after the conclusion of a gigantic rally in Kolkata Brigade Parade Grounds. Even the bourgeois media had to concede that this was the largest ever rally held at the Brigade in the recent past. The composition of the people who converged at the rally, braving all attacks and blockading attempts by the Trinamul Congress, nailed the lie of our class enemies and the bourgeois media that youth are not being attracted towards the CPI(M). Youth from all over the state of West Bengal enthusiastically participated in this rally.
For a Communist party, the importance of the Party organisation can never be understated. It is the Party’s principal weapon in carrying the Party’s understanding and its political line to the vast mass of the Indian people. Without a well-oiled and efficient Party organisation, the Party cannot develop deep links with the Indian people and champion their interests.
Revolutionary Party with a Mass Line
The successful conclusion of this Plenum began the process of revitalizing the Party organisation and the reinvigorating the rank and file to move forward in a faster manner to achieve our objectives. The 21st Party Congress adopted the Political Resolution, reviewed its political-tactical line and laid down the P-TL for the coming three years, restoring the primacy of building the Left and democratic front. This Plenum on Organization, therefore, focused on strengthening and streamlining our Party organizational capacities to fulfill these objectives.
This re-doubling of the CPI(M)’s resolve to meet the current challenges can only be carried forward by unleashing mightier people’s struggles. This means directly that we should enlarge the independent strength of our Party in a big way. This needs to be done in conformity with our adopted political-tactical line that reiterates the need for changing the correlation of class forces among the Indian people in favour of the Left and Democratic Front (LDF). This LDF has to be strong enough to present to the Indian people a class alternative based on an alternative set of policies instead of leaving the people at the mercy of choosing between one bourgeois party/formation or the other. The LDF, by changing the correlation of class forces among the Indian people, will be the precursor to the forging of the unity of the People’s Democratic Front, under whose leadership the Indian revolution will advance through the People’s Democratic Revolution to Socialism.
Thus, the Plenum reiterated the character of the CPI(M) as a revolutionary party based on the tenets of Marxism-Leninism while its line at this current conjuncture is to strengthen the links with the Indian people. i.e., a revolutionary party with a mass line.
Strengthen Organisational Capacities
These revolutionary objectives cannot be accomplished unless we vastly develop the Party’s organizational capacities. There, however, are very formidable challenges. The crisis globally and in our country and society continues to deepen rapidly. Wisdom of an old saying informs us that “in every crisis situation, there is an opportunity”. At the Plenum, the CPI(M) decided to seize such opportunities to advance.
The CPI(M) is best placed to advance as the political party of the working class rallying the support of all the exploited classes of our people in a situation of the world capitalist crisis which shows that no amount of reforms under capitalism can liberate people from intensifying exploitation. This can be done only through the political alternative of Socialism. Further, the CPI(M) has an alternative policy framework, for India, which will enable our people to realise their inherent potential and create a better India on that basis. This alternative offers the Indian youth a vision for a better future by marshalling our country’s resources to provide our youth with quality education, good health and sustainable employment, as opposed to the current policies that enormously widen economic inequalities. The CPI(M) remains the consistent political force that advocates and struggles for the unity of our multi-religious, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic population against all efforts at disrupting such unity by sharpening communal polarisation and thwarting the RSS/BJP designs to impose their project of a rabidly intolerant fascistic ‘Hindu Rashtra’. Simultaneously, the CPI(M) consistently fights against terrorism and fundamentalism of all hues. Majority communalism and minority fundamentalism feed and strengthen each other. The CPI(M) intensifies movements to abolish caste based untouchability, along with all expressions of discrimination and social oppression of all varieties. In a morass of fast degenerating political morality, the CPI(M) stands out as an example combating corruption and moral degradation in public life.
This record of the CPI(M) provides us the opportunity to build upon this further to achieve the objectives of galvanizing the Party organisation.
Concrete Analysis of Concrete Conditions
The CPI(M) has consistently advocated the Leninist dictum: “concrete analysis of concrete conditions is the living essence of dialectics”. In pursuance of this, the CPI(M) established three study groups to study the concrete changes that have occurred during the last two decades of neo-liberalism. On the basis of the findings of these study groups, the Plenum decided to strengthen class and mass struggles by: forging a broad front of agricultural workers, poor peasants, middle peasants, rural workers in the non-farm sections, artisans and other sections of the rural poor against the landlord-rural rich nexus; organising workers in key and strategic industries; organising contract workers in both the organized and unorganized sectors; establishing area-based organisations in coordination between trade unions, youth, women etc.; organising the urban poor in the bastis/local areas; establishing occupation based neighbourhood-mohallah-basti committees; strengthening work amongst the middle classes particularly ideological work by the establishment of various fora like citizens forums, platforms to promote cultural activities/actions; scientific temper and others related to their life and work; and strengthening work in residential associations, pensioners associations and professional bodies.
Implementing a Proper Cadre Policy
A Communist Party is always built from the top. Hence, to accomplish the strengthening of our organisation, the Plenum underlined that these efforts must begin by strengthening the Party Centre and proceeding towards improving the quality of the Party at all levels. Amongst many other measures to achieve this, the Plenum highlighted the need for implementing a proper cadre policy by identifying and promoting younger comrades and ensuring the entrusting of tasks on the basis of a collective assessment of concerned committees; nurturing such cadre as Party wholetimers – symbols of ideological conviction and sacrifice in the struggles for a revolutionary transformation – and strictly ensuring a proper wage structure for the Party wholetimers and maintaining regularity of payment.
As a part of effective cadre building, the Plenum emphasized the need of holding regular Party schools and preparing a central syllabus, along with a list of essential reading for self-study and vastly improving the reach and quality of Party papers and publications and making special efforts to upgrade their form and content.
Intensify Struggles against Social Oppression
Underlining the CPI(M) understanding that the issues of economic exploitation and social oppression are the `two feet’ upon which stands the advance of class struggles in India, the Plenum highlighted the need for strengthening the Party organizational capabilities to intensify struggles against gender oppression, discrimination against the dalits, tribals, disabled and religious minorities, by the Party as a whole. The CPI(M) must advance by walking and then running on these `two feet’.
The Plenum underlined the need to strengthen organizational capabilities to combat the current ideological offensive of the communal forces by undertaking various measures like: mobilising litterateurs, scientists, historians, cultural personalities and other sections of intellectuals; taking initiatives at the pre-school and school level by involving teachers and social organisations paying special attention to organise social and cultural activities to propagate scientific temper and secular values; evolving special activities to combat the penetration of communal influence amongst the exploited classes, dalits and adivasis; setting up of broad-based cultural platforms for propagation of progressive and secular values and cultural productions. The trade unions and other mass organisations should also organize cultural and social activities in their localities. Organising social service activities like health centres, educational coaching centres, reading rooms, relief work and so on are essential along with the urgent need to strengthen popular science and literary movements.
Urgent Essential Tasks
Building the capabilities of the Party organisation requires that the CPI(M) must undertake measures to strengthen our links with the Indian people in order to unleash mightier people’s struggles. This needs, first and foremost, the implementation of the mass line of the Party to ensure the deepening of live links with the people. This means, apart from strengthening the local Party units to unleash a large variety of local struggles, we must focus on advancing the agrarian revolution, the axis of the democratic revolution, by forging unity in struggles of all rural exploited sections of people thereby strengthening efforts to develop the worker-peasant alliance.
The immediate focus must be on forging class and mass struggles on economic and social issues to widen the Party’s influence and to rally the Left and democratic forces; adopting a mass line and establish live links with the people; streamlining the organisation to build a revolutionary Party with quality membership of high quality; making special efforts to attract youth to the Party; and waging the ideological struggle against communalism, neo-liberalism and reactionary ideologies.
The Plenum decided that the decisions contained in the adopted documents – Resolution and the Report – must be implemented in a time-bound fashion beginning from the Party Polit Bureau and Central Committee. As some states will soon be going in for assembly elections, the Plenum decided that all state committees, in accordance with their concrete conditions, must concretize time-bound implementation plans and review them in a year’s time.
The Plenum concluded by calling upon the entire Party, the rank and file, its sympathizers and well-wishers to rally together to implement these decisions with an urgent resolve. This is the only way that the CPI(M) can advance towards discharging its responsibility of ensuring a revolutionary social transformation in our country.
Forward towards a stronger CPI(M) with an all India mass base!
Forward towards a revolutionary Party with a Mass Line!