06 February 2020

The fourth all-India conference of the All India Revolutionary Women’s Organisation (AIRWO) was successfully held in Kolkata from 27-29 December, 2019. On 27th December, a grand women’s rally was held from Ramlila Park to Rani Rashmoni Road, where hundreds of women then converged for a public meeting. The stage was named after Comrade Kondapalli Koteshwaramma, the communist leader and feminist writer who passed away in 2018. The public meeting was presided over by Comrade Fatima, conducted by Comrade Usha and addressed by leaders of the AIRWO including Pramila, Urmila, Fatema, Anusha and Sharmistha, as well as leaders of friendly organizations like Vimukta, Evam Manabi and Shramajibi Nari Mancha. Girl students Sulochana and Anindita and Vimukta representative Ashu presented songs.

The delegate session was held on 28th and 29th December at Begum Rokeya Hall, Savitribai Phule Nagar (Nitika-Don Bosco,Tyangra) in Kolkata. The delegate session began with the raising of the AIRWO flag by Comrade Pramila amidst shouting of slogans. After entering the hall, the conference was conducted by a presidium comprising comrades Pramila, Usha and Shukla. Close to a 100 delegates from 8 states thoroughly discussed the general secretary’s report and draft, revised programme and constitution of AIRWO for two days. Comrades from Vimukta also attended the conference and participated in the discussion. Finally, all the three documents were unanimously passed with certain amendments.

Resolutions against NPR-NRC-CAA, violence against women, trafficking, abuse of liquor, discrimination in the workplace and a host of issues were passed at the conference. The conference also gave a call to observe 8th March, 2020, with a central rally and convention on working women in Raichur, Karnataka. The conference elected a 15-member central committee comprising comrades Sharmistha, Pramila, Urmila, Usha, Shukla, Deepa, Sukanti, Fatema, Radharani, Sujata, Pushpamma, Anusha, Bhuvaneswari, Sheeba and Khemlata, and a seven-member executive committee including comrades Sharmistha (General Secretary), Pramila (President), Urmila (Vice President), Usha (Treasurer), Shukla, Deepa and Sukanti (Secretaries). The conference ended with the lowering of the flag on the afternoon of the 29th January.

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.