People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIV

No. 07

February 14, 2010

Nation Pays Homage To Jyoti Basu

 

ASSAM

A TOWERING personality of the Indian communist movement and senior most leader of the CPI(M), Comrade Jyoti Basu won the hearts of a wide cross-section of the people of Assam as well. Condolence meetings are being held and rich tributes are being paid throughout the state with dignity and solemnity.

The Assam state committee of the CPI(M) organised a condolence meeting on January 27 at the Pragjyoti Cultural Complex in Guwahati, with massive participation. Besides party members and sympathisers, leaders from across the political spectrum and multitudes of people —educationists and intellectuals, artists and literary personalities, workers and employees —gathered to pay homage to Comrade Jyoti Basu who passed away on January 17.

The function started with paying floral tributes on the portrait of Jyoti Basu placed in front of the Cultural Complex building. Party followers as well as admirers, cutting across political and ideological barriers, filled the sprawling complex and offered floral tributes. The complex premises were draped with red flags, banners and festoons.

The programme started at 2-30 p m with senior state leaders of the CPI(M) paying floral tributes. The first to pay respect was state secretary Uddhab Barman who was followed by Central committee member Hemen Das and state secretariat members.

Leaders of various political parties, including the CPI, CPI(ML) Liberation, AGP, BJP, Janata Dal (S), AIUDF and NCP, offered homage to the departed leader by placing floral wreaths.

Dr Debo Prasad Barooah (a former vice chancellor of Guwahati University), Udayaditya Bharali (a former principal of Cotton College), noted scientist Dr Chandra Mohan Sarma, theatre personality Dr Sitanath Lakhar, cultural celebrity Sudakshina Sarma, GU teacher Abdul Mannan, prominent lawyer Bijan Chandra Das and literary figure Anil Roychoudhury were among the distinguished personalities who offered homage to the leader. A large number of people also lined up and paid floral tributes while moving rendition of Internationale was presented simultaneously by IPTA artists Bibhuranjan Chaudhury and Ghana Deka.

The condolence meeting was held inside the auditorium with senior party leader Hemen Das presiding. CPI(M) state secretary Uddhab Barman moved the condolence resolution in the jam-packed hall. While paying rich-tributes to Comrade Jyoti Basu, the resolution recorded his contribution in developing the communist movement in Assam as well. As an important functionary of the Railway Workers' Union, Basu frequently visited Assam and guided the movement in the early days of his political career. In fact, Jyoti Basu's Assam link can be traced back to his childhood when his father, uncle and other relatives lived in Dhubri. Basu's father Dr Nishikanta Basu got his medical degree from Dibrugarh Medical College, Assam.

Paying homage to Comrade Jyoti Basu, CPI state secretary Bhugreswar Dutta said that Basu commanded national respect as a communist leader who followed party discipline and remained steadfast to his ideals championing the cause of the working people. CPI (M-L) Liberation leader Naren Bora, Janata Dal (S) state president Ramani Barman, AGP leader Dr Deba Dutta Barkataki, BJP leader Harekrishna Bharali, AIUDF working president Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Chaudhury, NCP leader Tribeni Chakravorty and RCPI state secretary Ambu Borah paid their homage. In their avalanche of tributes, all leaders across the political spectrum praised the communist legend who initiated and implemented land reforms, strengthened democracy by extending it down to the panchayat level and strove for communal harmony and an inclusive society. Basu outlived most of his contemporaries. He was a man of immense political stature, one of India's most illustrious leaders and statesmen, they said.

Former vice chancellor Dr Debo Prasad Barooah said Basu was certainly the best known face of communism across the land, transcending regional limitations and influence. He was respected and listened to across the political and ideological spectrum on key policy matters, national and international. Recalling his association with Jyoti Basu in the sixties and seventies, Dr Barooah referred to Basu's unique leadership in the trade union movement. The former VC, who has a mastery over Indian political system and constitutional matters, also highlighted Basu's record the independent India's longest serving chief minister who was unrelenting in his struggle for restructuring of the centre-state relations. Dr Barooah called upon the people to intensify the struggle for social change.

Among others, Dr Chandra Mohan Sarma, Udayaditya Bharali, Jyoti Prasad Saikia (retired IAS officer and the editor of the Dainik Asom), and Gauhati Lawyers' Union president Tarun Singha Lahkar also spoke and showered praises on Jyoti Basu.

Cultural celebrity Sudakshina Sarma and Rishiraj Sarma presented a song with melody and rhythm to pay homage to Comrade Jyoti Basu.

The chairman of the meeting, Hemen Das, described Jyoti Basu as one of the finest products of the Indian freedom struggle and communist movement. The younger generation should embrace Marxism-Leninism as a developing science and follow the path of struggles illuminated by Comrade Jyoti Basu, the CPI(M) leader said.

The condolence meeting came to a close with the singing of Internationale by the entire audience led by Bibhuranjan Chaudhury and Ghana Deka. (Isfaqur Rahman)

 

MAHARASHTRA

COMRADE Jyoti Basu’s demise evoked profound sorrow among a large section of people in Maharashtra, particularly among the toiling masses. Leaders of a large number of political parties, trade unions and organisations of toiling masses came forward to pay him homage. Electronic and print media gave wide publicity. Almost all newspapers, in English as well as Marathi or other languages, carried editorials. Well attended public meetings to pay homage to Comrade Jyoti Basu, were held at Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Dombivali and many other places in the state by party organisations. Leaders of various secular, Left and democratic parties as well as organisations paid glowing tributes to Comrade Jyoti Basu at these meetings. A state level convention of the activists of Republican Left Democratic Front, held on January 22, at Mumbai adopted a resolution condoling the comrade’s demise.

In Mumbai, on January 19, the day of the last journey of Comrade Jyoti Basu, party activists including Mumbai party secretary Mahendra Singh and secretariat members Ashok Banerjee, Soniya Gill and R S Pandey assembled at Janshakti, the CPI(M)’s state and Mumbai party office, at 3 p m. They marched, carrying photographs of Comrade Jyoti Basu, in the streets in the office vicinity, shouting slogans “Comrade Jyoti Basu Lal Salaam” and “Comrade Jyoti Basu Amar Rahe!” In the office hall, they paid floral tributes. Mahendra Singh, Ashok Banerjee, Soniya Gil, R S Pandey spoke.

On January 27, the CPI(M)’s Mumbai committee organised a packed hall public homage meeting at Vanmali Hall in Dadar (West). The party’s Mumbai secretariat member R S Pandey made the introductory remarks while its state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale presided. Central Committee member K L Bajaj, Mahendra Singh, state committee members Sayeed Ahmed and Kishor Thekedath, CPI leader Sukumar Damle, PWP leader Professor S V Jadhav, Janata Dal (Secular) state general secretary Vasant Shirali, Kamgar Aghadi president Dada Samant, well known senior journalist P Sainath, NRMU general secretary P R Menon and assistant general secretary S K Bose addressed the meeting. They paid rich tributes to Jyoti Basu recalling his dedication, simplicity, courage, loyalty to the party, unflinching faith in Marxism-Leninism, emphasis on forging close links with the masses, disciplined conduct, staunch opposition to imperialism and communalism, extraordinary political leadership, and immense contribution in building the communist, Left, democratic and trade union movements.

Speaking as president of the meeting, Ashok Dhawale mentioned that participation of more than one million persons in the last journey of Jyoti Basu reflected the deep love, affection and respect of masses for him. Paying homage, he referred to the personality of Jyoti Basu, his unflinching faith in revolutionary transformation of society, his leadership of various mass struggles, his contribution in making West Bengal a Left citadel, and his immense hatred for imperialism and communalism. Dhawale said true tribute to Jyoti Basu would be to preserve and advance his rich legacy and devote oneself to realise the India of his dreams. The meeting paid stood silent for two minutes and ended with loud slogans of “Comrade Jyoti Basu Lal Salaam” and “Comrade Jyoti Basu Amar Rahe”. (Mahendra Singh)

 

BIHAR

CUTTING across political affiliations, leaders from different political parties paid glowing tributes to Comrade Jyoti Basu, one of the finest sons of the Indian subcontinent, who died on January 17. The all-party condolence meeting was organised by the CPI(M)’s Bihar state committee on January 29, in the lawns of Gate Public Library in Patna.

Though the Gate Public Library is far away from the hustle and bustle of central Patna, on January 29 it attracted a large number of party members, sympathisers and common people who reached the place in time, to pay their homage and take pledge to carry forward the unfulfilled task left behind by Comrade Jyoti Basu, one of the tallest communist leaders and the last one of the navratnas who formed the CPI(M) in 1964 and tirelessly fought for the growth of the party till his last breath.

By the time the meeting started, the Gate Public Library was overflowing with workers, peasants, government employees and different sections of the society who wanted to be the part of the solemn occasion and pay their last respect to the icon who espoused the cause of the have-nots by sacrificing his aristocratic background.

At this all-party meeting, CPI(M) state secretary Vijaykant Thakur recalled the immense contribution made by Comrade Jyoti Basu to the cause of the communist movement. He reminded the audience that during his 23 years long stint as chief minister, Comrade Jyoti Basu changed the face of rural Bengal. Under his leadership, the party and Kisan Sabha played a significant role for getting the radical land reforms effected by the Left Front government. He bore the brunt of the Congress regime since 1946 when he was first elected to the legislative assembly. Thakur recalled Comrade Basu’s personal courage when a miscreant fired upon him at the Patna Junction railway station on March 31, 1970. On that occasion, Basu maintained his calm, and visited the residence of Ali Imam who had come to receive Comrade Jyoti Basu at the railway station but died because of the firing on the spot. Later on, he addressed a party rally in Gandhi Maidan. Thakur asked the party leaders, cadres and also the political class in general to follow the high ideals practiced by Comrade Jyoti Basu.

Comrade A B Bardhan, general secretary of the CPI, who had come to attend the state council meeting of his party, spoke from his heart and recalled his long association with Comrade Basu. Giving a brief sketch of his political life right from his London days to the cause of communist movement in India he emphasised the need to carry forward the legacy of Comrade Jyoti Basu, who was the epitome of personal courage, self-sacrifice and discipline. He exhorted the audience to fill the void with collective effort and imbibe the ideals of Comrade Jyoti Basu.

BJP leader Mangal Pandey, while paying his tribute on behalf of the party, made a strong plea to emulate the high ideals of self-sacrifice and discipline in politics. Even in his death, Basu has set a rare example by donating his body for the benefit of the posterity.

RJD leader and Rajya Sabha member, Rajniti Prasad paid fulsome tribute to Comrade Jyoti Basu and made a strong plea to fulfil his dream by taking up the cause of downtrodden and the have-nots.

CPI(ML) leader Shiv Sagar Singh eloquently about contribution made by Comrade Jyoti Basu and urged to fight unitedly for the cause for which Comrade Jyoti Basu struggled in his life time.

Leaders of the Forward Bloc, SUCI and BSP, CPI state secretary Badrinarain Lal and AIPSO general secretary Bijendra Pandey also paid their respects to the departed comrade.

Presiding over the meeting, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi spoke at length about his long association with Comrade Basu and paid him tribute with moist eyes.

As the meeting came to a close, one minute silence was observed in memory of Comrade Jyoti Basu. (Arun Kumar Mishra)