The Communists and the Indian Freedom Struggle
Jyoti Basu was a great leader of the CPI(M), the Left movement and India. With his passing away, an era has passed.
Seventy years of public life and political activity marked him out, at the time of his death, as the most distinguished Left leader of the country. An ardent Communist, he was one of the few political leaders in independent India who actually deepened democracy, strengthened secularism and brought the working people to the centre-stage of Indian politics. As Chief Minister of West Bengal for a record 23 years, his lasting contributions were land reforms, which gave land and security of tenure to millions of peasants, the vitalization of panchayat institutions, and the creation of an enduring atmosphere of secularism in the State. He taught Communists how to work and serve the people in parliamentary forums in order to bring about changes in public policy.
He stood with the struggles of the working class and all working people. Jyoti Basu became a symbol of Left, democratic and secular forces.
Jyoti Basu was born on 8th July, 1914 at Kolkata. His father Nishikanta Basu and mother Hemlata Devi lived in Kolkata though their ancestral home was in village Bardi in Dhaka. Nishikanta Basu was an eminent homeopath doctor. Jyoti Basu spent his childhood in Kolkata, mostly in their house in Hindusthan Park in South Kolkata, where he lived the most part of his life too.
Jyoti Basu passed his Senior Cambridge and Intermediate from St Xaviers’ school and later was admitted in Presidency College with Honours in English. Though not an active political family, Basu’s father was supportive of the national struggle. While in school, Basu was inspired by the Chittagong armed rebellion led by Surya Sen in 1930.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI (M) expresses its profound grief at the passing away of Comrade Jyoti Basu, senior most leader of the Party and one of the tallest leaders of the Communist movement in India who was the Chief Minister of the Left Front government of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000. He was 95 years old.