Preamble & Constitution
Adopted in the 1st All India Conference held on 1-3 November1980 at Ludhiana and updated in the 9th All India Conference.
- The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) as a forward looking and progressive youth organisation inspired by anti-imperialist, democratic and socialist ideas takes upon itself the task of organising the young men and the young women of our country into a well-knit all India youth organisation to build a powerful youth movement to fight for a democratic and progressive social system and for the upliftment and betterment of the youth community as a whole.
- Youth constitutes all young people between the age group of 15-40 years, belonging to various sections of society, i.e., students, workers, peasants, middle classes etc. Youth constitute a very large percentage of our population. The youth are the most energetic section of the society full of vigour and freshness. The future of a country depends upon the development of this section of the society. But they are constantly being denied the rights and opportunities to utilise their energy to help our society move forward.
- In our country the aspirations of this section have been completely neglected. Centuries of British colonial rule and the ruthless exploitation of imperialists and feudals had crushed their aspirations and forced them to lead a life of second class citizens. The problems and difficulties of youth were directly connected with the prevailing socio-political and economic conditions under the British rule. The youth shared all the sufferings, oppression and exploitation their families were subjected to. They took keen interest in the socio-political and economic condition of the country. Fired by the ideals of patriotism the youth had participated and played their proud and glorious role in the struggle for independence, but they did not even get the voting right at the age of eighteen when India became independent. Old enough to work as labourers in sweatshops, they could not elect a government of their choice.
- The Democratic Youth Federation of India carries forward the true legacy of young revolutionaries who fought for the country's independence against British colonialism. The DYFI also inherits the progressive, rational, patriotic, secular and democratic aspirations of the people who fought for the country's independence. Though the DYFI was formed in 1980, it imbibes and carries forward the legacy of young revolutionaries who through their organisations led various struggles and revolts against British rule.
- Youth have always been attracted to new ideas that have promised a better future for mankind. Indian Youth were also attracted to the various ideas of enlightenment and liberation. Organisations like the Anushilan and Jugantar samitis in Bengal, the Ghadar movement in Punjab and the emergence of Young Communist groups in the country as a whole charged the National Liberation Movement with revolutionary fervour. In the 20th century the most powerful event was the overthrow of the Czarist Empire and the creation of the USSR that made the vision of independence from imperialism a reality not far from the northern borders of our country. The October revolution of Russia gave a new dimension to the freedom struggle. The youth of India were also inspired by such ideas of a world without war and without colonies. A new wave in the youth - student movement could be witnessed all over the country.
- Of these, the Naujawan Bharat Sabha formed by the legendary Bhagat Singh and inspired by the revolutionary ideology of scientific socialism came into being in 1925. Even before the Congress decided to boycott the Simon Commission, the Naujawan Bharat Sabha had expressed its opposition to it in clear terms. Later the trial and martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and his comrades roused a large section of youth and people in the country to resist colonial rule firmly and militantly.
- The organised Left-student movement gave a direction for an all India movement of students and youth in 1936. This movement was able to bring students and youth from a wide political spectrum under its banner and orient them in an anti imperialist direction. This was the period when fascism became a threat on the global level and World War II broke out. There was an upsurge of anti-fascist, anti-colonial feelings across the world and struggles for national liberation were on the rise. This also attracted the youth of our country towards progressive ideologies and values. During our freedom struggle the youth had played a glorious role in creating a powerful movement against imperialism and in this process braved extreme forms of inhuman torture and made supreme sacrifices.
- In the Second World War the historic victory of socialism over fascism led to a great upsurge amongst the youth. The post second world war period saw a powerful anti-imperialist and anti-feudal movement in the country and the youth participated in large numbers in it. The formation of World Federation of Democratic Youth – WFDY in 1945 provided an ideological impetus to progressive, democratic, secular and anti-imperialist youth of our country. Various significant struggles took place during this period including that of Tebhaga, Punnapra Vayalar, North Malabar, Telengana, Worli and Tripura. This period also saw the historic defeat of fascism and the advent of the success of national independence struggles as also the independence of our country. However, to channellise this upsurge along divisive lines imperialism fomented the deepening communal divide in our country that finally ended in the partition.
- Independence in 1947 created high hopes among the Indian people and especially among the youth, that the progressive and democratic ideals of the freedom struggle would be realized. Issues like employment, education and development were the core issues of the youth movement. It was expected that in independent India, the youth would get their rights and respect from the ruling classes of the country. However, after independence when power was transferred to the representatives of the Indian bourgeoisie and landlords, the ruling classes strengthened their class position by adopting the capitalist path of development, leading to contradictory developments in the sphere of industry, agriculture and education. Taking advantage of the division of the world between the two camps of socialism and imperialism, the Indian ruling classes also adopted a dual policy of co-operation with socialist countries on the one hand and collaborating with foreign multinational capital on the other, to strengthen its bargaining position.
- As a result of these, the fruits of whatever development that took place in the initial decades after independence were enjoyed by a very small section of the people. The masses were deprived of adequate and equal economic opportunities. Even today the youth from workers, peasants, lower middle and other exploited classes are suffering deeply from frustration and are falling prey to divisive and reactionary forces, both internal and external. Using one section against the other, these forces are striking at the roots of national unity. A vast majority of the youth is faced with the problems of unemployment, illiteracy, hunger, disease etc.
- By the middle of 1950s, as developmental ,economic , political and cultural problems of youth in an independent country came to the fore, the need of organising the youth separately was felt because the task of organising the vast majority of youth who were not students under the banner of students organisations was difficult. This led to the formation of an all India youth organisation in 1959, highlighting issues like employment, development and social backwardness. The task of organizing the youth on democratic, anti-imperialist, secular, anti-feudal and progressive channels begun in this period.
- A sharp debate soon gripped the youth movement over the character of the Indian ruling class. A section of the leadership felt that the Indian state is progressive and shall lead us along the path of socialism eliminating poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. This understanding eventually led them to side with the ruling Congress regime. But another section represented by those who later formed DYFI was very critical about the existing class rule and felt the need to confront it.
- This ideological debate finally led to the formation of various state-level youth organisations. Prominent among them included the Democratic Youth Federations of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Karnataka, Socialist Youth Federation of Kerala, Naujawan Sabha of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Socialist Youth Front of Tamilnadu, Prajatantra Yuva Sangham of Andhra Pradesh and so on.
- These organisations mobilised the youth in the struggle against internal emergency in which the youth under different banners came forward to resist authoritarian rule. They were the main force behind this struggle. With the defeat of the emergency, the youth came forward as never before, taking their place in every walk of life. Already it was becoming evident that a demarcation was necessary from authoritarian, divisive and communal forces if the forces of national unity, secularism and social progress were to be unleashed. It was to facilitate this process and give it an alternative social and economic direction that DYFI was formed in 1980, at its first all India Conference at Ludhiana in Punjab.
- Since 1980 the DYFI has been organising the youth along democratic lines because of which it has become the largest organisation of young people in the country. The DYFI has consistently been championing the cause of Education and Employment. Along with the SFI it coined the slogan of 'Jobs for all, Education for all'. The path of struggle has also led to hundreds of our comrades being murdered by reactionary, divisive and ruling class forces. The DYFI has been the target of divisive forces in Assam, Punjab, West Bengal, Tripura and other states. Today the white flag of DYFI tells a saga of innumerable sacrifices which the organisation had to make for national unity. The DYFI has become the torch bearer of the youth movement of our time.
- Marked changes are being witnessed today with the ushering in of the post Soviet Union era of imperialist globalisation, which promotes liberalisation and privatization, which has strengthen imperialist hegemony. When many organisations and intellectuals around the globe had gloated over the debacle in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and relinquished the idea of socialism, the DYFI advanced the slogan of "Socialism is the future, the future is ours" in marked contrast to them.
- Some significant changes have been witnessed since the decade of 1980's. While these have benefited the big capitalists, they have ruined the common masses. The limited avenues of employment are being further squeezed. The public sector, small scale industry and agriculture are badly hit. The policies of liberalisation, privatisation, and globalisation have brought about deep all round distress. In a country like India where the agricultural sector accounts for a significant part of the labour force, the future of the vast majority of rural youth is in jeopardy. We have to come together to change this state of affairs.
- The insecurity and deprivation generated by imperialist globalisation has provided fertile grounds for the growth of already existent casteist, communal, fundamentalist and chauvinist forces. These forces have often received the support of imperialism because of their potential of disrupting peoples' unity. At the same time the violence unleashed by these forces and imperialist aggression seek their justification in each other. In our country the most dangerous manifestation of these divisive tendencies is the communal fascistic politics of the RSS and the Sangh Parivar. The activities of the minority communal organisations also aid and abet the growth of majority communalism and both pose a serious threat to our national unity.
- This era has also witnessed a shift in the cultural sphere in the country. A new market oriented culture to promote the interest of MNCs and big business is being introduced through the media, especially the visual media. The culture of depoliticisation and cynicism is also being made to percolate young minds. Consumerism, individualism, hatred, violence, and degeneration is also being propagated by the imperialist controlled media to break the unity of the people. Backward and decadent culture is polluting the minds of the youth in the narrow interest of the ruling classes and there is need for a progressive cultural policy involving a balanced development of the mind and body, which should be propagated widely among the people and easily accessible to them.
- We are aware of the urgent necessity of overhauling the present educational system and developing a scientific, democratic and secular alternative suited to social needs and capable of developing the creative faculties of students. This means that basic education should essentially be free and compulsory and should reach every one. But far from this , the education policies of successive governments particularly in the period of globalisation has done the reverse by commercialising and communalising education, making educational institutions teaching shops, and denying the mass of Indian youth their right to education. Education can not be a marketable commodity. It is a right we won during our fight against colonial rule and we will not allow it to be squandered away today.
- Our youth is confronted with the spectre of unemployment in its most severe form due to the bankrupt socio economic policies pursued by the ruling classes, dictated by the IMF, World Bank and WTO. The liberalisation and structural adjustment programme pursued by successive governments since 1991 have not only led to the opening of the economy to foreign finance capital but are destroying our home market as well. Growing unemployment today affects both urban and rural areas in the country as never before.
- The technological development that took place in the last two decades of twentieth century has certainly influenced economic growth. But the rapid rate of technological progress which has taken place, instead of contributing to the process of employment generation and providing relief to the working people has led to the phenomenon of jobless and job loss growth. The developed capitalist countries are using technology as a bait for bargaining with and blackmailing the developing and underdeveloped countries.
- Life and events in India bear out the truth that Parliamentary democracy is not safe in the hands of the ruling classes. Authoritarian rule was established through emergency in India as a consequence of the social, economic and political crisis that had over taken the ruling class. People of India fought back that rule. But the danger of authoritarian rule still looms over the country. The ruling classes are always eager to snatch away the hard won democratic rights of the people in order to curb any dissent against their anti-people policies. The concepts of welfare state and democratic values are under attack. Even the judiciary at times has acted in line with these regressive measures. In this context the DYFI pledges to mobilise the entire democratic and progressive youth of the country to defend and expand the democratic rights of the people.
- The youth movement is an integral part of the wider democratic movement of the workers, peasants, women, students, and other progressive forces. It can neither achieve its immediate demands nor realise its general aims and objectives except for a combined and united effort of the entire progressive, democratic and forward looking forces in our country. The youth had played a crucial role in the electoral advances made by the Left and democratic forces and the formation of Left led governments in West Bengal,Kerala and Tripura. These Left Front Governments showed the way towards socio-economic progress in the country by implementing pro- people policies of land reforms, decentralization of power to the Panchayats, ensuring democratic rights for the working people and adopting alternative economic policies within the existing frame work. The DYFI pledges to unite the youth across the country in order to strengthen the left and democratic forces.
- In our country the question of a comprehensive understanding of issues related to youth has been completely neglected. Former colonial rulers used the Indian youth to serve their imperial interests, while in the post-independence period the Indian ruling classes used them for their own class interests. That is why the most important task of the democratic youth movement is to fight the evils which divide and weaken the youth and liberate them collectively by fighting along with workers, peasants, students and intellectuals to build a better future for the people of India in a society free of exploitation and oppression.
NAME: The name of the organisation shall be DEMOCRATIC YOUTH FEDERATION of INDIA, hereafter referredto as DYFI.
FLAG: The DYFI flag shall be white in colour with a five cornered red star in the Centre and DYFI written in red, in English or in any Indian language, vertically adjacent to the pole stand. The length and breadth of the flag shall be in the ratio of 3:2.
Article 1: Affiliation.
- DYFI may grant affiliation to any youth organisation based on a State/Union Territory in India or certain definite area of any state subject to the approval of the concerned DYFI state committee if one exists, provided the organisation accepts the policy, aims and objectives, and constitution of the DYFI.
- Any Committee working under the name of DYFI shall follow the DYFI Constitution. The affiliated organisations may have their own Constitution provided that they do not transgress or conflict with the provisions of the Constitution of the DYFI.
- All DYFI state committees and any organisation desiring affiliation to DYFI shall pay a sum of 10 (ten) paise out of the membership fee per member on its roll to the Central Executive Committee annually.
Article 2: Membership, Rights and Duties of Members.
- Membership forms would be published by the state committees according to CEC guidelines.
- Any youth between the age of 15 and 40 years, irrespective of sex, religion, caste and language who accepts the Programme and Constitution of the DYFI, and pays the annual membership fee is eligible to be a member. The membership will continue normally for one calendar year.
- The membership fee will be Re. 1/-(One Rupee) annually.
- Every member shall have the right to elect and to be elected.
- Every member shall have the right to express his/her opinion in his/her unit and subsequently before any of the higher committees.
- Every member shall have the right of resignation.
- All members shall have the responsibility of implementing the programmes adopted through conference and decisions taken by their own and higher committees and the right and duty to propagate the aims, objectives and carry out the activities of the DYFI.
- Any member is free to join any political party or other organisation whose aims do not conflict with those of DYFI.
Article 3: Structure of the Organisation.
- a) All India Conference, b) Central Executive Committee, hereafter referred to as CEC c) Central Secretariat, d) State Conference, e) State Committee, f) State Secretariat g) District conference, h) District Committee, i) District Secretariat j) Unit conference k) Unit Committee.
- For the purpose of the formation of committees between District Committee and unit committee, respective State Committee shall provide the guide lines accordingly.
- Affiliated organisation may be organized on State/Union Territory or certain area basis.
- Affiliated organisation shall enjoy the right to continue with the old organisational structures in accordance with their own Constitutions and to evolve new intermediate committees by amending their own Constitutions provided that it should not transgress or conflict with the provisions of the Constitution of DYFI.
Article 4: The Conference.
- The All India Conference will be the highest body of the DYFI. Similarly the highest body of the organisation for any level will be the Conference of the organisation of that particular level.
- The All India Conference shall normally be held every three years. State Conference and District Conference shall normally be held every two years. Unit Conference shall normally be held every year.
- All DYFI Committees and the affiliated organisations of DYFI shall elect delegates to the Conference on the basis of proportional representation in their respective Conferences. The number of delegates to be elected shall be fixed by the CEC before every Conference on a fixed ratio throughout India. The number of delegates for Conferences will be decided by respective Committees. Committee members will be delegates to the respective Conferences. Only in Unit Conferences every primary member is eligible to attend the Conference.
- The delegation fee shall be determined by the respective committee, whose Conference will be held.
- The Conference will review the work of the intervening period and will adopt the future programmes.
- The Conference will elect the respective committees.
- If any Conference fails to elect the concerned committee unanimously, the voting will be by secret ballot on the basis of proportional representation.
Article 5: The Committees.
- In between two Conferences the concerned committee will be the highest body of that particular level.
- The concerned committee shall execute the decisions of the Conference.
- The CEC shall elect the President, the General Secretary, maximum five Vice-Presidents, five Joint Secretaries and the treasurer from amongst its members as office bearers.
- The Central Secretariat shall be formed with the office bearers of the CEC. If necessary, the CEC can include other members of the CEC in the Secretariat. The number of non-office bearer members of the secretariat should be less than the number of the office bearers.
- The State Secretariat shall be formed with the office bearers of the State Committee. The State Committee shall elect the President, the Secretary, maximum five Vice-Presidents, five Joint Secretaries and the Treasurer from amongst its members as office bearers. If necessary, the State Committee can include other members of the State committee in the Secretariat. The number of non-office bearer members of the secretariat should be less than the number of the office bearers. The respective conferences at different levels shall decide the number of committee members and its secretariat. The state Conference shall decide about the organisational structure between the state committee and unit committee.
- The CEC shall draft the rules in conformity with the Constitution for conducting the work.
- The CEC shall meet at least four times in a year and notice for the meeting shall be circulated fifteen days in advance. If one third of the members of the CEC demand a meeting, a requisition meeting shall have to be called within two months.
- The State Committee / District Committee shall meet at least six times in a year normally and notice shall be circulated seven days in advance. If one third of the members of the State Committee /District Committee demand a meeting, a requisition meeting shall have to be called within one month.
- The quorum for a Committee meeting shall be one third of the total number of members. Whereas for a requisitioned meeting it shall be half of the total members.
- The President or in the absence of the President, any one of the Vice-Presidents shall conduct the meeting of the committee.
- If a seat falls vacant due to resignation or for other reasons, the vacant seat shall be filled up by co-option.
- All Committees shall make necessary arrangements to mobilise funds through mass collections and donations to conduct its activities.
- The CEC shall have the right to set up the organisation or preparatory committee in a State, Union territory or a certain area.
- The CEC/ State Committee/ District committee may form different Sub-Committees / Teams to carry out their work.
- The CEC / State Committees shall constitute Editorial Boards for the Organs of DYFI and elect one of its members as the editor and the manager of the organisation.
- The All India Conference State Conference shall be convened by the decision of the CEC/ State Committeerespectively. District and lower level conferences shall be convened by respective committees in consultation with higher committees.
- The CEC/ State Committee/ District Committee shall prepare a statement on the work carried out and half yearly accounts and place those in CEC/ State Committee/ District Committee Meetings twice in a year respectively. The final accounts will be placed before the Conference.
- If any member of the CEC/ State committee/ District committee is unable to function normally as member due to imprisonment, illness, for being forced to go underground, or for any other valid reason, concern committee can co-opt another member from the State/Union territory/certain area to which the above mentioned member belongs to. The member so co-opted shall enjoy the rights of full member but when the original member joins the concerned committee, the alternate member shall cease to be a member of the CEC/ State committee/ District Committee.
Article 6: Secretariat.
- In between two CEC State / District Committee meetings the Secretariat shall be responsible for the functioning of the organisation.
- The General Secretary /Secretary with consultation of the Secretariat shall convene the meeting of the CEC/ State Committee/ District Committee. In absence of the General Secretary/Secretary anyone of the Joint Secretaries shall convene the meeting of the committee.
- The CEC accounts shall be maintained in the name of the Democratic Youth Federation of India. The accounts will be under the signature of the President, the General Secretary and Treasurer and shall be operated by any two of them. Any amount exceeding Rs.10,000/- for expenditure must be approved by the Secretariat. Each and every state committee and district should follow CEC norms in operating their accounts with the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the respective committee being the nominees for the account.
Article 7: Disciplinary Action.
- Any unit of the DYFI, which acts contrary to the interest of the DYFI, will be liable to disciplinary action by the organisation. The forms of disciplinary action may include warning, criticism in public or disaffiliation.
- Any member of the organisation, who acts contrary to the interest of the DYFI, will be liable to disciplinary action by the organisation. The forms of disciplinary action may include warning, criticism in public, and removal from elected post, suspension or expulsion.
- Disciplinary action will be taken against any member if the members' activities are against the interest of the Constitution of the organisation, by the duly constituted committee under which the member is enrolled.
- A unit or a member facing disciplinary charges will have the right to explain his/her conduct to the committee initiating action before the action is taken by the organisation.
- Disaffiliation of a unit will have to be approved by the next higher committee and the unit which is disaffiliated will have the right to appeal to the higher committee and subsequently to the CEC.
- Expulsion, suspension and removal from the elected post of a member will have to be approved by the next higher committee and a member who is expelled or suspended will have the right to appeal to the higher committee and subsequently to the CEC.
- The CEC can disaffiliate any unit under it for not conforming to the interest of the organisation or acting against the aims and objectives of the organisation. The CEC, in case of necessity, shall have the right to dissolve and re-organize any lower level committee in consultation with the state-committee concerned. State Committees shall have similar power vis-à-vis units under them. In the latter case the right of appeal for a unit lies with the CEC.
- Disaffiliation or reorganization of any State Committeeby the CEC or StateCommittee must be placed for approval at the next Conference.
Article 8: Change in the Constitution.
- The All India Conference can only change or amend the constitution.
- Any notice of proposed amendment in the constitution by any member or unit must be sent to the CEC at least one month before the Conference. The CEC, if it proposes to initiate amendments, must circulate those to the state committees one month before the Conference.
- All amendments to the Constitution must be passed by the 2/3rd of the elected delegates attending the Conference.