Tribute and closed eyes
New Delhi, Feb. 22: Jyoti Basu was never a member of Parliament, but the late communist received glowing tributes from Speaker Meira Kumar in the obituary references for former Lok Sabha members who died recently.
Kumar said Basu was an astute administrator and one of the leading figures of the communist and trade union movements in India as she heaped praise on the man who served as chief minister for a record 23 years.
There have been only a few instances when a person who never became a Lok Sabha member has received such praise during formal obituary references on the floor of the House. Mahatma Gandhi and Jayaprakash Narain are among such leaders.
Kumar said Basu’s administrative acumen and political sagacity had left an indelible imprint on the country’s political canvas. “Even after demitting office of chief minister owing to his frail health, Basu continued to remain actively associated with several projects for the welfare of people. A multifaceted personality, Basu was also an accomplished author. He penned a large number of essays in the Bengali language which have been compiled and published in five volumes,” the Speaker said.
“In his demise, the country has lost a worthy son and a committed votary of the humanitarian values and a legislator par excellence. He rendered a yeoman service for the welfare and uplift of the weak and the downtrodden sections of the society.”
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee and a few members of her Trinamul Congress appeared to be in visible discomfort as the Speaker praised the departed communist.
Mamata closed her eyes and her party colleagues looked askance when Kumar said Basu worked steadfastly for the all-round development of Bengal, introduced land reforms and decentralised power by strengthening the panchayati raj system.
The Telegraph,February 23 , 2010
FULL TEXT OF THE OBITUARY REFERENCE PRESENTED ON LOKSABHA BY HONOURABLE SPEAKER MEIRA KUMAR:
Hon. Members, you are all aware of the sad demise of Shri Jyoti Basu, former Chief Minister of West Bengal.
An astute administrator, Shri Basu has the unique distinction of being the longest serving Chief Minister in the country. He was the Chief Minister of West Bengal for more than 23 years, that is from June, 1977 to November, 2000. As the Chief Minister of West Bengal, he worked steadfastly for the all-round development of the State and introduced land reforms. A strong votary of decentralisation of power, he strengthened the Panchayati Raj system in the State. He rendered a yeoman service for the welfare and uplift of the weak and the downtrodden sections of the society.
In his long and distinguished political career, Shri Jyoti Basu’s stint as a legislator began when he was elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1946, and he continued to be its member till 2001 except for a short period from 1972 to 1977. He made his mark as the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly between 1957 and 1967. He was twice the Deputy Chief Minister of West Bengal between 1967 and 1970.
Shri Basu, one of the pioneers of the Communist movement in India, was a leading figure in the Indian trade union movement. He was the Vice-President of the CITU since its inception in 1970.
A multifaceted personality, Shri Basu was also an accomplished author. He penned a large number of essays in Bengali language which have been compiled and published in five volumes.
Even after demitting the office of the Chief Minister owing to his frail health, Shri Basu continued to remain actively associated with several projects for the welfare of people. In his demise the country has lost a worthy son and a committed votary of the humanitarian values and a legislator par excellence. His administrative acumen and political sagacity have left an indelible imprint upon the political canvas of this country. His absence will always be felt in many walks of life.
Shri Jyoti Basu passed away on 17th January, 2010 at Kolkata at the age of 95 after a brief illness.
We deeply mourn the loss of these friends and I am sure the House would join me in conveying our condolences to the bereaved families.
Monday, February 22, 2010/ Phalguna 3, 1931 (Saka). The House met at 1225 hour