People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 7

February 22, 2009



Comrade Manjulika Basu Is No More

Special Correspondent

A stalwart woman leader of the democratic movement of the state, former member of the CPI(M) Tripura state committee and vice president of AIDWA, Comrade Manjulika Basu passed away at G B Pant Hospital in Agartala at 1.45 pm on February 9, 2009. For the last six months, she had been under treatment in the G B Pant Hospital with kidney and other ailments. She was 79 and a bachelor.

The news of her passing away instantly spread a pal of grief among the Party workers and sympathizers, particularly those who had an opportunity to work with Comrade Basu who had a motherly affection towards them. Immediately after the sad news poured in, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar, Central Committee member Rama Das, state secretariat members Tapan Chakraborty, Gautam Das, state committee members Samar Adhya, Krishna Rakshit and hundreds of Party and AIDWA workers, rushed to the Hospital to have a last glimpse of their beloved leader. They all paid floral tributes to the departed leader.

To fulfill the desire of some of her relatives who had to air-dash from Guwahati and Kolkata the next day, the funeral was held on February 10, 2009. Her last journey started the next day at noon. Seventy nine women volunteers dressed in a uniform of red saris and AIDWA flags bowed down in their hands, led the funeral march with the mortal remains of Comrade Basu. Prominent leaders of Party and womenís organisations were in front of the huge funeral march which sang international all along the path. The procession passed through AIDWA state committee office at Hospital Road Extension, the office of the state social welfare board at Akhaura Road, the CITU state committee office at Office Lane and reached CPI(M) state committee office at Melarmath. Here, apart from the leaders and workers of the state committee office and Desher Katha, daily newspaper paying homage to her, Party senior leader and former state secretary, Baidyanath Majumder draped red flag over the body of Comrade Basu and paid floral tributes to her. Then the funeral march proceeded to the Womenís Commission office to the TECC(HB Road) central committee office to the TGTA(HB Road) office and lastly at the CPI(M), Sadar divisional committee office where the mortal remains of Comrade Basu were kept till the evening for the last glimpses of the leader. In the evening, the funeral proceeded again to the Ramnagar-Krishnanagar LC Office of the Party and then to her residence at Durga Chowmohani. Everywhere the office bearers of the respective offices paid homage to the departed leader with floral tributes. At about 7.00 in the evening, according to her last will, her body was donated to the authorities of the Agartala Government Medical College for academic purpose. The principal of the college received her body in presence of Party Central Committee member Badal Chowdhury, state committee member Krishna Rakshit and her relatives.

In a condolence message issued by the CPI(M) Tripura state secretariat, the Party deeply grieved the passing away of Comrade Manjulika Basu and expressed sympathies to the bereaved family. The statement respectfully remembered the invaluable contribution of Comrade Manjulika Basu to the innumerable movements of teachers and employees, organising women and the working women of the state. Comrade Manjulika Basuís demise, is a loss to the democratic movement of the state. She had a staunch commitment to the communist ideology and was a close friend of working people. The Party has decided to keep red flag half-mast all over the state for two days in respect to her. The chief minister of the state, CITU and AIDWA, in separate statements condoled the death of Comrade Manjulika Basu.

Comrade Manjulika Basu was born in Kailashahar of North Tripura in 1929. Right from her student life, she was attracted to the communist ideology and attached herself with the communist party. Even after starting her career as a school teacher, she continued her attachment with the Party. This angered the then Congress ruler who transferred her to Belonia, South Tripura, another fringe of the state. This vindictive transfer could not deter her from her inherent sense of duty for the common manís cause. There also, she continued the contacts with the Party comrades and started organising the teachers and employees against repressive rule of the Congress led government. She was vice president of Tripura Employees Coordination Committee and simultaneously vice president of TGTA, Belonia divisional committee. She was the only woman member who was detained under MISA immediately after clamping Emergency in 1975. In early 80s, she voluntarily retired from service and full-fledgedly attached herself in leading the womenís movement in the state. She was elected vice chairperson of Ganatantrik Nari Samity, an affiliate to AIDWA which she held till she breathed her last. She was founder convener of the Working Womenís Association in the state. In 1984, she was nominated as chairperson of Tripura state social welfare board. She successfully administered this board for five years. In 1993, she became the first chairperson of the newly formed state womenís commission where she worked continuously for ten years. The commission recorded many achievements in her tenure. Comrade Manjulika Basu was elected Party state committee member in the 15th state conference in 1995. In 2008, before the 19th state conference, she opted to be relieved from this responsibility on health grounds which the Party agreed with honour.