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A Jyoti Basu February 2, 2010


When I came across the name of Jyoti Basu, he was the Chief Minister of the West Bengal. He was virtually reigning the state for long. I was impressed by his tanacity, prudence and acceptibility by the people.
Being a communist leader, he didn’t abandon the democratic path, rather exercised it to ascend to the power of the state. When the Communism in Russia was collasping, his example of statemanship, cited an incident for others and keep the communism survived in the modern era. He served for long 23 years from 1977 to 2000 as the Chief Minister of West Bengal,the longest for any democratically elected leader, against Mahatir’s 22 years in Malayasia.

I was following the moments when he was offered the Prime Ministership of India from the winning coalition, but he refused the offer as his party didn’t approve it. It is one of the greatest instance of party loyalty as I know. I couldn’t imagine such loyalty to the party from any of our leaders.

Before the state election in 2000, he declared that he wouldn’t hold the chief ministership. People and party activists insisted him, but he remain sticked to his decision. His party won the election and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee became his successor. This changeover might be the part of his plan to help the CPI(M) to keep the power of the state in it’s hand.

He was criticised for the low investment in the West Bengal in comparison to other states. But in his long tenure, he introduced the Panchayet system and tried to empower the common people through strengthening the local governments which also strengthened the democracy in the state. Communal harmony was strictly maintaned during his period and no major untoward events happened in West Bengal due to effect of Babri Mosque and Kashmir issue.

I was bewildered when I heard that he was a Barrister from UK but he didn’t practice law but preferred to work among among the railway workers after coming back from London on the directives of the party leaders. He later became vateran labour leader and elected to the state parliament for successive times.

He also donated his body and eye for the resarch in the medical science.

It is sweet to know that he hailed from Bangladesh and soil of Bangladesh is fertile to produce such a dedicated leader. In this present political crisis and economic challenge, Bandgladesh needs leaders like him.

Not necessarily, one will have to accept his political idealism, he is a symbol of dedication and commitment to one’s cause wih strongest party loyalty, integriity of character and a man of knowledge and prudence.

Born on 8 July 1914, he passes away at the age of 96 years on 17 January 2010, leaving us and remaining as an inspiration to face the challenges of the time.

An ordinary citizen (from Bangladesh)

Link: Joyti Basu-Wikepedia


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