People's Democracy

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


No. 31

August 04 , 2013





Jyoti Basu Birth Centenary Observances Begin


Mahendra Singh


ON July 8, 2013, the Mumbai committees of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) flagged off the Jyoti Basu birth centenary celebrations with a joint public commemorative meetings in Venmali Hall in Dadar (West). The hall was fully packed on the occasion. A photo of late Comrade Jyoti Basu adorned the dais, along with a photo of late Comrade Ahilyatai Rangnekar, a beloved party leader, whose birthday also falls on July 8. Mahendra Singh, the CPI(M)’s Mumbai committee secretary presided. Seated on the dais were CPI(M) Central Committee member and state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale, Central Committee member K L Bajaj, and all-India vice president of the CITU, CPI(M) state committee member and the CITU’s all-India working committee member Sayeed Ahmed, CPI(M) state secretariat member Professor Krishna Theckedath, state committee members Dr S K Rege and Shailendra Kamble, and CITU Mumbai secretary Dr Vivek Monterio. Dr Ashok Dhawale and K L Bajaj garlanded the photo of Jyoti Basu and Ahilyatai Rangnekar respectively. While Dr Dhawale, K L Bajaj, Sayeed Ahmed and Vivek Monterio highlighted Comrade Jyoti Basu’s outstanding contribution, they also dwelt on the purpose of the meeting. Shailendra Kamble conducted the proceedings.


The CPI(M) state committee’s organ, Jeevan Marg (Marathi weekly), had published a special issue to commemorate the Jyoti Birth centenary. K L Bajaj released the new issue at the meeting.


In his introductory remarks, Sayeed Ahmed praised the invaluable contribution of Jyoti Basu to the Indian working class movement and to the work done by the Left Front government of West Bengal in the interest of the toiling masses and common people including the workers, peasants and agricultural workers, under his chief ministerial tenure. K L Bajaj dwelt on the important role played by Jyoti Basu in founding and building the CITU. He also highlighted the stellar contribution of Jyoti Basu in the Indian working class and communist movements. Addressing the audience, Dr Vivek Monterio pointed to the 50 years long membership of Jyoti Basu of the West Bengal legislative assembly; he said Comrade Basu’s ideal style of functioning in it as a communist is a guide for communists for all the time to come. Dr Ashoke Dhawale, in his detailed speech, threw light on various aspects of the outstanding personality of Comrade Jyoti Basu and his invaluable contribution in the Indian communist movement and in building of the CPI(M). He referred to the police lathi blows faced by Jyoti Basu as a school student while participating in a public meeting addressed by Netaji Subhash Chandra; his participation in the activities of India League and London Majlis while studying in London; his stellar performance as a legislator, opposition leader, deputy chief minister, home minister and chief minister; the pro-people activities of the first Left led government of West Bengal under his stewardship; his immense contribution in strengthening the Left politics in India and raising the issue of restructuring of centre-state relations; his unique party loyalty and adherence to party discipline; his firm belief in Marxism-Leninism; his daily visit to the party’s state committee office even when he was discharging onerous responsibilities as the chief minister; his unshakeable faith in the toiling masses; and his exhortation to the party members to increasingly strengthen contacts with the masses. In his speech Mahendra Singh urged upon the audience to plan various programmes during the year long observance to take the message of Comrade Jyoti Basu to the wider masses and to take pledge to advance the cause for which Jyoti Basu worked for almost seven decades.


All the speakers also paid tributes to Comrade Ahilyatai Rangnekar.


The meeting ended with slogans like “Jyoti Basu Lal Salaam,” “Comrade Jyoti Basu Amar Rahe” and “Long Live Marxism-Leninism!”