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.
Addressing a huge crowd that stood in the rain for hours to be present at the occasion, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that the town was a result of years of planning by the State government and Jyoti Basu had also been closely involved during the initial stages. Chief Minister pointed out that “those who gave their land for the project have not been forgotten and that most of them will find jobs and homes within Jyoti Basu Nagar.” It was in the year 1995, the township was envisaged by Basu, the Chief Minister recalled.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was also present, sharing the dais with Mr. Bhattacharjee and senior leaders of several political parties.Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other party leaders, however, stayed away.
Comparing the naming of the town after Jyoti Basu with that of the nearby Salt Lake area after another political stalwart of the State, Bidhan Chandra Roy, also a former Chief Minister, Mr. Chatterjee said that “the process of urbanisation cannot be stopped in the State.” People are continuously pouring into cities from villages in quest of a better life, he said.
Speaking about the vision for Jyoti Basu Nagar, Mr. Bhattacharjee said that once the town was fully developed, ten lakh people will live there permanently and another five lakh will find employment in the various offices and knowledge-based industry that will be set up there. Besides, a Rabindranath Tagore campus, housing the works of the poet, would come up in the township.
“For historical reasons, Kolkata has remained the only major city in the State. But, 70 lakh people live in Kolkata and the pressure on the city is far too much,” he added.
"It is remarkable that such a huge project with so many roads and houses had been implemented without any government-money,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said, appreciating the efforts of cabinet colleague and Minister for Housing, Gautam Deb.
Mr. Bhattacharjee also pointed out that about 50 percent of the town's housing facilities had been set aside for people from the lower and middle classes. Around 50 per cent of the township would comprise human habitation, including water bodies, and an art gallery be set up on a land area of ten cottahs, Mr Bhattacharjee added. The Chief Minister also unveiled the plaque for a children's park in the area.
''The statelite town will ease the pressure borne by Kolkata. People hailing from both rich and middle classes would reside in the township that will also house a financial hub armed with banking facilities,'' Mr Bhattacharjee informed and said facities for opening embassies would also be provided.
Addressing the gathering, state Minister for Housing Gautam Deb said the township had so far witnessed an investment of Rs 13,000 crore, adding altogether 20,000 IT personnel were working in various units across the area.
Press Trust of India
Posted online: Mon Oct 04 2010, 04:02 hrs
Santiniketan (WB) : Announcing his decision to do social work after retirement from politics, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has set up a health centre for the poor and named it after his ‘mentor’ Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu.
“My age does not suit active politics anymore. Before my retirement from politics I had planned to do social work. I want to do something for the common man through social service,” the former CPI(M) leader said after inaugurating ‘Jyoti Basu Seva Kendra’ here on Saturday.
Run by Niramal Chandra Binapani Trust, set up by Chatterjee and named after his late parents, the ‘seva kendra’ would provide medical help to the poor and needy.
“I have named it after Basu, as it was he who had influenced and inspired me most in my life,” Chatterjee said during the inauguration on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. PTI