Basu a Marxist who was never dogmatic: CPI(M)

Basu a Marxist who was never dogmatic: CPI(M)

Basu a Marxist who was never dogmatic: CPI(M)

In this file photo veteran Communist leader and former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu (L) is seen with former CPI-M General Secretary Harkishen Singh Surjit at a programme in Kolkata. PTI

In its condolence resolution, the party Polit Bureau said Basu, who joined the Communist Party in 1946, played a significant role in the growth of the party in Bengal and leading the government and became a symbol of the Left, democratic and secular forces in the country.

The CPI(M) also noted that Basu was a Marxist who never wavered in his convictions in the backdrop of the fall of Soviet Union and setbacks to socialism.
"He provided the leadership along with his colleagues in Polit Bureau to make a reappraisal of the experience of building socialism and to pinpoint the errors and to correct wrong notions and understandings while remaining true to Marxism-Leninism.
"He was a Marxist who was not dogmatic and continued to learn from his vast experience in charting out the course for the party," the resolution read out by Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said.

Expressing profound grief at his demise, it said Basu's role in the government in supporting the struggle for implementation of land reforms and not allowing the police to be used against workers and peasants' struggle were notable.

Basu belonged to the leadership which steered the party through the difficult says of "semi-fascist terror" in Bengal in the 1970s, the reolution said.

The resolution remembered his contribution during his 23-year-old stint as Chief Minister, saying his government embarked on land reforms on an unprecedented scale besides instituting panchayati raj system.

"One has to recall how he dealt with the situation after Indira Gandhi's assassination when violence against Sikhs broke out in various parts of the country, but nothing was allowed to happen in Bengal. Similarly, he dealt firmly with efforts to instigate trouble after the demolition of Babri Masjid," it said.

Basu as Chief Minister and a Left leader played an important role in pushing for restructuring Centre-State relations and rallying other Chief Ministers and political leaders for the cause.

On the political front, the resolution said, he played a prominent role in bringing together Left and secular parties against the Congress in 1980s and later against the BJP in the 1990s.

In an apparent reference to his opinion of a party leader becoming a Prime Minister in the 1990s and CPI(M) turning it down, the party said, "he emerged as the pre-eminent and most popular leader of the party but he always worked as a disciplined member of the party setting an example for all."