(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 31, 2010
How I Found Comrade Jyoti Basu
IN the year 1963, when 32
members of the National
Council of the Communist Party of India walked out of its meeting held
Comrade Basu played an important role in this meeting which decided to call a convention of the party at Tenali in Andhra Pradesh to further plan out the steps necessary for the future of the party. The Tenali convention held between July 7 and 11, 1964 gave the call for convening the seventh congress of the party in Kolkata.
On the eve of the seventh party
congress, when many
leaders of the party in
Comrade Basu attended the third
party congress and
ninth party congress held in
I must refer to his visit in June 1969 in particular, to commemorate the Kilavenmani incident in Thanjavur district, where 44 dalit agricultural labourers and poor peasants were burnt to death by landlords in 1968. Lakhs of toiling people attended this rally. Along with other leaders of our party in Tamilnadu, I was present on this occasion. This visit of Comrade Basu gave a great fillip to and strengthened the agrarian movement in Thanjavur district and Tamilnadu.
He inaugurated the Tamilnadu state committee building of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in T Nagar, Chennai, on March 30, 1991.
I was in the presidium of the
party congresses along
with him during the fourteenth party congress at Chennai and
He was the permanent chairperson during the meetings of the Central Committee. During the discussion in 1996 on the question of participation in the central government, he conducted the proceedings in the best democratic traditions of inner-party debate.
He was greatly interested in Tamilnadu as a non-Congress government was in power here, and he had had good relations with leaders of both the Dravidian parties, so that he could work out a joint approach on the question of state autonomy and more powers to the states.
He was very popular with various sections of people in Tamilnadu and helped the image of the party to grow here.