CPI(M) planning Basu museum in Rajarhat

Debashis Konar, TNN, Oct 11, 2010, 06.27am IST

KOLKATA: With Rajarhat being rechristened Jyoti Basu Nagar last week, CPI(M) leaders are planning to set up a museum in the township in memory of the departed leader.

Two CPI(M) leaders, Rabin Deb and Avik Dutta, went to Basu's residence, Indira Bhawan in Salt Lake, and collected some of his belongings on Sunday. Basu had lived there for the last few years of his life.

The word coming out is that CPI(M) leaders, being apprehensive about the outcome of the 2011 Assembly polls after a spate of election drubbings, are not eager on the museum coming up at Indira Bhawan, a government property. If the government changes next year, a museum there might lead to unnecessary complications. The idea is to set it up on a private property in Rajarhat, though no location has been finalised yet, a senior leader said.

Party insiders said that Deb and Dutta went to Indira Bhawan to go through the late leader's belongings and decide on which ones would be displayed in the museum.

Both the leaders were tightlipped about the issue, but party insiders said that Deb, a state secretariat member, had picked up some of Basu's belongings, which would be handed over to party functionaries at Alimuddin Street.

A life-size wax statue of the Marxist leader standing at Indira Bhawan will be shifted to the museum. Even the chair on which Basu used to sit is likely to be among the exhibits. The memorial will have a photo gallery featuring important moments from the leader's life. Party leaders are on the lookout for rare photographs of Basu. Copies of these will also be sold to visitors.

Documentaries on Basu, news clippings and films showcasing the leader will also be there for the visitors and specially the new generation to know about the legendary Marxist chief-minister.

Some of Basu's favourite books will also be on display at the museum and along with books on Basu. Speeches and the writings of Basu will be a major attraction for the visitors.

The party leaders also have plans to sell all compilations of Basu's lectures. There will be an audio-video section at the museum where speeches of Basu as CM and CPM leader will be aired. These cassettes and CDs will also be in the purchase section.

However, Basu's former aide Joykrishna Ghosh, who holds office in Indira Bhawan, denied that any item belonging to the leader was taken out by Deb and Dutta on Sunday. He said that all the belongings of Basu were intact at Indira Bhawan.

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