On January 17, 2010, the All India Council meeting of the newly elected AIC was held in Delhi. It was a significant meeting as a number of important issues were discussed and important decisions taken.
In spite of the biting cold, the meeting was well attended and members participated vigorously in the discussions on the following…
1. Report of AIC work since the Convention & Interventions
2. Organization building
a. Membership campaign and fund raising
b. Strengthening RCs
c. Regional Convention –plan for holding conventions and importance
d. Regional Conferences as follow up of regional Conventions
3. Centenary of International Women’s Day – Importance and proposals
4. 60 years of the Indian Republic – LRS work to engage the people of India in discussion on the need for renewal of this republic, to ensure that Lok Raj is established and not the raj of only vested propertied interests.
a. Sovereignty of people’s collectives – states reorganization etc- the Indian Union needs reorganisation
b. Representation of People’s Act – direct democracy is necessary so people can actually become decision makers.
c. The legal Juridical system– need to end colonial legacy and establish legal juridical system which provides that laws and justice are decided by people and under their control.
5. Bills coming up in Parliament –How should LRS respond
a. Land Acquisition and Relief and Rehabilitation Bill
b. Communal Violence Bill
c. Women’s reservation bill
6. Action plan and resolution
The report presented by the secretary was enriched by important interventions from the AIC members.
The Convention of LRS in November has led to new enthusiasm and resulted in increase of mass membership from various regions.
Maharashtra organized a Regional Conference to elect a new LRS regional Samiti, following the decision of the All India Convention held on November 7-8 2009, on December 6, 2009. It has been having regular meetings to ensure that it leads the work in its region.
In Rajasthan and Maharashtra, there has been a vigorous campaign of mass membership, and in majority of other regions where LRS is active, the Councils have taken up this work.
Mass campaigns have been carried out in various regions on issue of price rise and callous attitude of rulers towards it. Decision was taken that statements, pamphlets etc will be prepared and widely distributed on this issue.
Decision was also taken that the issue raised about the use of rice for alcohol by Maharashtra government needs a serious analysis and political position, so we can unite people against the anti people plans of the government.
Overall, proposal was that each region should set a target for new membership boldly and we should come to the next AIC meeting three months from now having tried to achieve these targets
AIC called upon the Regional Councils in the areas where regional conventions have not been held following the All India Convention of November 2009, to do so at the earliest, by the end of February. These conventions must be organized with wide propaganda and mass membership campaigns accompanying them, and must chart the course of work in their regions, for the coming period. The AIC proposed that every six months, each area council must organize a regional conference with mass membership, to ensure that the organization is built on a strong edifice in close touch with the membership.
It was emphasized by the Secretary that the mass membership of LRS must be closely linked with organizing people in defence of their rights and interests, in the course of waging the day to day struggles with a close knowledge of the pulse of the people. Simultaneously, we must organize discussions on the alternative institutions necessary for Lok Raj to become a reality.
The other important issue that was raised and discussed was the issue of the Centenary of the International Women’s Day. The presentation made on the issue stressed the importance of organizing women around the banner of LRS, for lok Raj. Today we find large numbers of women and girls from the working class, rural and urban poor backgrounds coming out to seek education and training, working in production and services. We need to address this new generation of working women, to mobilize them into the movement of women against exploitation and injustice, to link the struggle of women to the struggle for LOK RAJ.
AIC discussed the various proposals regarding the IWD this year. It was resolved the different Regional Councils should plan how to commemorate the International Women’s Day this year in their areas.
The AIC discussed that this being the 60th year of the Republic, including the Constitution which defines this Republic, this year is an appropriate time to discuss various fundamental flaws in the way the republic is constituted which prevent the people from becoming decision makers and deciding their own destiny.
What kind of Union do we want? Is it not one which is a voluntary union of various nations and nationalities and peoples on the basis of equal rights and to mutual benefit? After a brief presentation on the various manifestations of opposition to the way the Union is presently constituted, and demands being raised, and the role of the Central government as well as various oppositional forces which tend to inflame the situation and set people against each other, it was felt that the Regional Councils should plan conferences on the same at appropriate time to bring out how Lok Raj would address this issue, and how the rights of various collectives like nations and peoples cannot be satisfied within the present economic and political set up.
The AIC also deliberated on another important part of this Republic –democracy. We have as LRS been trying to draw people’s attention and have made efforts towards deepening and broadening democracy, and raised the banner of direct democracy as an answer to the flaws in the present political process which prevent people from becoming decision makers. The Government at the center is proposing various measures to amend the Representation of Peoples Act to marginalize the people even more in the political process. This is an opportune time to engage various political forces in discussion on the Representation of Peoples Act, with a view to uniting the people around the demands for direct democracy.
The AIC deliberated on the legal Juridical system which are fully grounded on the colonial institutions, totally anti-people. This is an opportune time to engage various political forces in discussion on the legal juridical system and what kind of reforms are necessary that they are in service of Lok Raj.
On the proposed Bills – Land Acquisition and Relief & Rehabilitation, Communal Violence Bills, Womens Reservation Bill, etc that are due in Parliament, it was agreed that we need to further elaborate the position of LRS on these questions . There are several other Bills and we need to track them all.
The meeting concluded with a reiteration of the following decisions:
1. Membership –target setting by each Area Council and efforts to fulfill the target and report at next AIC
2. Regional Conventions to elect new Councils to be organized within a month where they have not been organized. 6 months after the Regional Convention, Regional Conferences of members should be organized. Latest by March 15, the Councils should report on their plans to the AIC.
3. Statement/leaflet on price rise, with demands clearly enunciated
4. IWWD – March 7 meeting in Mumbai, end of March in Delhi. Decision to participate in joint actions in each area is to be taken up in respective Regional Councils.
5. Regarding: 60 years of the Republic – the Regional Councils have to discuss and decide the plan of action of organising meetings in their areas on the suggested issues like the reconstitution of the Union, the Representation of Peoples Act, the legal juridical system etc.
6. Bills – tracking those that are going to be introduced/passed in Parliament –
7. Tracking all pre-budget discussions and deliberations and preparing for our intervention when the budget is presented.
The next meeting of the AIC was set for April 18, 2010.