Jyoti Basu’s house in Bangladesh being converted into a tourist centre

By Rahman Jahangir

Dhaka, Aug 17 (APP)- Bangladesh is going to honour veteran Indian Communist leader and former West Bengal Chief Minister late Jyoti Basu by setting up a library and a tourist centre at his ancestral house in Chowdhury Para, Barodi, under Sanargaon sub-district, about 20 km from the capital. Following a directive from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to this effect, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs finalised the decision in a recent meeting with its Secretary Hedayetullah al Mamun. The tourism ministry has also given consent to the proposal.

Since the government is now waiting to get a nod from his family members living in Kolkata, the foreign ministry has asked the Bangladesh’s Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata to obtain the permission from his family members, as Bangladesh wants to preserve the house having memories of the veteran Bengali leader.

Jyoti Basu was born on July 8, 1914 in Kolkata in an upper middle-class Bengali family, but his father Nishikanta Basu, a doctor by profession, hailed from the village of Barodi in Narayanganj district of Bangladesh.

Basu, during his last visit to Bangladesh in 1999, had visited his ancestral house and expressed his desire to the Bangladesh government to convert the house into a library. He regularly enquired about the present condition of the house till his death on January 17.

After his death, during discussion on a condolence motion in the Bangladesh parliament to pay respect to Basu, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had promised preservation of his memories in Bangladesh by setting up a library at his ancestral house.

Among others, Sheikh Hasina had attended the funeral of the CPM leader in Kolkata. He had good relations with Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Hasina had great respect for Basu. As the chief minister of West Bengal, Basu had played a crucial role in reaching an agreement on sharing of water of the river Ganges in 1996 after Hasina came to power.

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