Lifelong fighter

Published : Feb 12, 2010 00:00 IST



History created Jyoti Basu, he created history.

Debabrata Biswas, general secretary, All India Forward Bloc.

JYOTI BASU was the longest-serving Chief Minister with genuine national status. He was a patriot, a legend and an institution in himself. A lifelong fighter, he created history around him. He was honoured at the helm of affairs not only in government but within the party as well. He could interact with people from all walks of life people in politics or outside politics, from high ranks or from the working class, his Left Front partners or even those from the Opposition parties. He managed to earn the respect of all. He was able to run a coalition government for 23 years because of these qualities. He interacted with Front partners regularly as a guardian, and if any constituent partner faced any problem, either in the party or in personal life, he would be there, above party politics.

The other striking thing was that throughout his long legislative career, he fought for the rights of the working class and the downtrodden people. It was notable that he began his career by representing a workmens organisation. He was associated in some form or the other with the trade union movements in the railway, jute and engineering sectors. Though not a peasant leader, he worked for the peasantry and introduced land reforms. A true working class leader, a genuine leftist, he was. Left unity was at the depth of his heart and he achieved remarkable success in leading a front comprising the Left parties.

On the very first day after assuming the reins of government in June 1977, he made a historic announcement that the Left Front government would not be administered from Writers Building alone but will reach the remotest corners of the State. Before the Left Front government took over, there were no elections to any local bodies. The entire democratic system got a thrust. History created Jyoti Basu and he created history.

T.K. Rajalakshmi
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