"There is much talk of high growth rate being achieved. If this meant progress then this should reflect in the improvement of conditions for all. But we see that conditions of the vast majority of toiling people is going from bad to worse, while that of a handful of rich and powerful is getting better and better, so now they are even global players. This brings us to the issue of who has political power, who controls the means of production and the wealth and resources of this country. Unless we the people have political power in our hands and control over our resources and decisions, this situation will not change . . (extract from concluding remarks to the Delhi Regional Convention, by the Secretary, Prakash Rao, LRS)"
On February 7, 2010, I was fortunate to participate in the Regional Convention of the Delhi Regional Council (DRC) of the Lok Raj Sangathan (LRS). As the time drew nearer for the meeting to start, the hall soon filled with a large number of youth, excited and animated.
The meeting started with the presentation of the agenda and its approval. The report of work presented by the secretary of the DRC emphasized the work of the council among the marginalized youth, women, and workers. After describing the work done by the DRC, (the pardafash yatra, the participation in the elections, joint actions with other like minded organizations against attacks on the working people, against peasants, against state terrorism, etc) he stated: “the problems of the people of Delhi will not get resolved until and unless people have power in their own hands. More than half of the population, people who toil, who live on the roadsides and in the jhuggis, we are just vote banks! We are never asked what our aspirations and needs are. This is our great democracy! We want people’s views to be heard, we want to organize ourselves so that we can end this impasse. And this is not possible without building LRS, our organization, without membership and without strong Samitis in every corner of the city and the NCR. Though we have grown in these last two years, we have much to do, many more areas to reach. Come let us continue our work with even more vigour in the coming years.
The report was welcomed by one and all and adopted. The spirit and politics was reflected in the interventions made by a large number of the members present. All who intervened spoke of the need to raise further consciousness among the toiling and working people, amongst all sections, the need to strengthen our confidence, involve ourselves in politics, the need to keep the discussion alive, to recognize that LRS is us and that it is in our hands to build our organization.Following this, the work ahead and the challenges in front of the DRC was presented.
- Building the organization through more samitis and improving our way of functioning
- Reaching out to many more and expanding membership
- Planning and organizing programs around the International Women’s Day, this being the 100th year
- Organize discussions and actions around the issue of “60 years of the republic – how to make it a people’s republic?”
The elections to the new council started with an explanation of the importance of electing a new council, the importance of leadership that will work the hardest to build the organization. The old council was dissolved and a new council of over 50 members elected, which in turn elected its secretary and secretariat. The unanimity of the elections reflected the unity and strength of the regional council.
After a brief but very spirited cultural interlude, the Secretary of the All India Council made his concluding remarks. He said that the essence and nature of a republic depends on who has power in their hands. The rich who are now ruling will rule in their interest. The machinery which includes the police, the army, the bureaucracy, etc established by the British has continued and on top of this is the parliament. Power means dictatorship. Our giving our vote or not makes no difference to the bourgeoisie. However, when we take power, we will deal with the bourgeoisie with our dictatorship, which means ruling in the interest of the vast majority, the workers, peasants and all toiling people. Today in this system, the elections are an opportunity for us to raise the consciousness of the people against the enemy. Our work and goal which must not loose sight of is to bring power to the people and all down the line. There was talk in the interventions of the need for youth to be educated. I just want to say this is an important issue, is that we need to promote political and social education. We have to understand, why prices fell or stabilized every five years when there was socialism in Russia and Albania.
In socialism everybody works and the fruits of labour are organized in the interest of well being of the people. Whereas under capitalism it is the opposite.
The “why” of this has to be understood.
That is why we say in today’s society the schooli shiksha” is by itself not sufficient. There is much talk of high growth rate being achieved. If this meant progress then this should reflect in the improvement of conditions for all. But we see that conditions of the vast majority of toiling people is going from bad to worse, while that of a handful of rich and powerful is getting better and better, so now they are even global players. This brings us to the issue of who has political power, who controls the means of production and the wealth and resources of this country.
Unless, we the people have political power in our hands and control over our resources and decisions, this situation will not change. This evening there has been a very good atmosphere and it is important to change things around here in Delhi and the NCR.
I wish you all success in your drive for increasing membership, in building your Samitis and in strengthening the LRS as an organization”!