Plan to preserve skeleton; town to be renamed after him

After Army personnel, accompanied by senior CPI(M) leaders, formally handed over Basu’s body to the SSKM authorities here at Moharkunj on Tuesday, doctors of the Anatomy department of the hospital have begun the process of preserving it by injecting formaldehyde into his body to make it bacteria free. “Once it’s over, we’d keep it in the mortuary. The process of preservation may take about a week,” head of Anatomy at SSKM Ashish Dutta said. It could at best be preserved for about a year, he indicated.

SSKM superintendent Pradip Mitra who paid glowing tributes to Basu for the latter’s decision to donate the body, said “We’ll preserve him in a befitting manner. Usually various organis are dissected by students. One thing is for sure, we’re going to preserve the skeleton as it would help medical students for their study and subsequent research in future.”

Will the brain of Basu be also preserved, like Einstein ? “ Well, we’re also keen to preserve his brain, but no final decision has been taken so far,” Mitra told the DHNS here.
However, the SSKM superintendent made it clear that as per the rule governing donation, once a body is handed over to the hospital, no further information will trickle out.

“We’ll not provide any information on the body; it’s like cremation when only ashes remain,” he pointed out. The decision to preserve Basu’s skeleton is quite significant as not many Communist leaders’ bodies or skeletons, even in hardcore Communist nations, are found to be preserved for posterity.

Only the body of Russian Communist stalwart Vladimir Lenin was embalmed and kept at the mauseleum.

Incidentally, Basu becomes the only Marxist leader in India whose body will be preserved in such a manner after death.

In another development, Basu will shortly be joining the select league of Communists who have cities named after them. According to sources in the CPI(M) here, Rajarhat New Town, the burgeoning satellite township next to Salt Lake renamed as Bidhan Nagar, is likely to be re-christened Jyoti Nagar in memory of the Marxist patriarch.

State housing minister Goutam Deb and a Basu acolyte has reportedly put forward the proposal to rename Rajarhat New Town.

Once the CPI(M) state leadership is through with the last journey and the pall of gloom is over, the Buddhadev Bhattacherjee government is expected to make a formal announcement.

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