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DYFI Calls for a Cohesive Fight to Uphold Secularism in India

The four-day DYFI national conference in Kolkata saw the participation of 450 delegates from 26 states.

Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) has called for a more cohesive fight to uphold secular values in the country. As the DYFI youth took oath on the last day of its 11th national conference at EZCC Kolkata, the organisation said that the reactionary forces would not have the last laugh. It also vowed to initiate strong countrywide campaigns on issues critical to the general masses, such as employment, education, housing, etc.

The four-day conference in Kolkata saw participation from 450 delegates from 26 states. Around 53 delegates, including seven women, deliberated on the political organisation report placed by the outgoing general secretary of DYFI. A total of 27 proposals were raised and accepted in the delegate session, which journalist Shashi Kumar inaugurated. Kumar, in his speech, highlighted that the country is in a severe state due to the authoritarianism of right-wing forces.

In his report to the conference, outgoing general secretary Abhay Mukherjee said that DYFI would focus on fostering movements that resonate with local issues of a particular region in the coming days, for instance, the restoration of democracy in Kashmir.

"We are with the people of Kashmir in these trying times," he told the conference. He further said that the organisation would build a strong youth movement to thwart attempts to initiate NRC in the country. He stressed the issue of the inclusion of women members into DYFI, adding that the membership strength would be increased in various states by careful deliberation and planning.

The conference elected AA Rahim (Kerala) as the President and Himangna Raj Bhattacharya (West Bengal) as the general secretary; Sanjeev Kumar was elected treasurer. Moreover, the conference constituted an 18 member national secretariat and elected a central executive committee (CEC) comprising 77 members. Students' Federation of India (SFI) president VP Sanu and general secretary Mayukh Biswas have also been made members of DYFI's CEC.

A draft of the urban employment guarantee bill proposed by the CEC was distributed among the delegates. A statistical background report on Social and Economic Inequalities in Education, Employment, Labour Market and Public Health in India was also distributed.

The organisation report mentioned that DYFI's membership increased from 91,63,970 members in 2020 to 96,39,216 in 2020. The membership increased even in states where left activists have been attacked, such as Tripura and West Bengal. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana saw the biggest hikes.

The delegate session also witnessed speeches from fraternal organisations, such as Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) and SFI.

AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah said that the patriotic duty of every person in India is to save the country from the corporate-communal nexus. AIDWA general secretary Mariam Dhawale said that we must resist the communal venom spewed by BJP-RSS forces in the country. Biswas highlighted how the Union government is moving away from the constitutionally-granted right of education for all with its attempt to privatise the education sector.

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