The 15th National Conference was held from 29-30 July in Patna. The theme of the conference was ‘For resistance and people’s unity against social divisions, violence and unreason’. The auditorium in which the conference was held was named ‘Trilochan-Muktibodh Auditorium’. The stage of the conference was named after Bhojpur’s popular people’s poet Ramakant Dwivedi ‘Ramta’. This is the birth centenary year of the three poets.
The inaugural session began at 3.30 pm on 29 July. Prof. Chaman Lal, noted economist John Dreze, Prof. Afsar Jafar, an expert in Urdu literature, Telugu writer Allam Rajjaiya, AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan, CPI(ML) MLA Mahboob Alam and others. The inaugural session was followed by poetry recital session where noted poets like Manglesh Dabral, Madan Kashyap, Balli Singh Cheema and others read out their poems.
The second day of the conference was held in auditorium of Engineers’ Institution. It began by a folksong by a team from Yuva Niti. Following this, the convenors of poetry group, film group, theatre group, painting group, people’s language group and story group presented a report on their programmes, activities, interventions and plans. Thereafter the outgoing General Secretary of Jan Sanskriti Manch Comrade Pranay Krishna presented his report. Prof. Rajendra Kumar was elected as the President and Manoj Kumar Singh (well-known as a courageous and independent journalist from Gorakhpur) was elected as the General Secretary. The delegates participating in the conference also elected a 170-member National Council and a 31-member executive. 11 Vice Presidents were also elected.
After the organisational session the teams who had come from various regions presented a cultural programme. It was followed by another session on poetry recitation in which several poets including Prof. Rajendra Kumar, Krishna Kumar Nirmohi, Kaushal Kishore and others recited their poems. This session was moderated by Comrade Sudhir Suman. A short film by Chorus – titled Katlgah, and based on the writer Krishnakalpit’s recent story which was inspired by Premchand’s story Idgah and by the spate of lynchings in India today was also screened.
The conference concluded on 30 July, on the eve of birth anniversary of Premchand, with organisation of a seminar on the topic ‘Today’s time and Premchand’. The convenor of the seminar was critic Ravi Bhushan. Several speakers including Prof. Rajendra Kumar, writer Shivmurthy, Prof. Afsar Jafar and others presented their views.