“A communists fights for the people till his last breath…and then he continues to fight…by donating his body for medical research Com Basu has inspired millions.”
One of the facebook status message of comrade (pun intended) Ishan Anand drew my attention. Ishan , like millions(may be I am overestimating!) of the comrades of the country was trying to pay a humble tribute to ‘The Leader’ Com.Jyoti Basu
Jyoty Basu, whom we had almost forgotten … until last week when media and the national leaders started worrying about his health, and the news channels were flooded with the news of who’s who of Delhi visiting the nonagenarian leader , we were suddenly reminded of him! Joyi Basu died at the age of 95 and the nation? was mourning his death.
No questions can be raised on the “commitment” of Jyoti Basu towards the tenets of Marxism, probably it is not a hyperbole to say that his deaths heralds the end of Indian Marxism! I repeat Marxism again!
But I wonder if Marxism is the magic wand that would heal the all the problems of the commons… Definitely not, infact No ‘isms’ can claim such powers. Then why do leaders fail to negotiate with their ideology?
I do not feel as sad as the other comrades feel on the demise of Jyoti Basu but I am more agonised by the demise of Bengal. The state which was at its intellectual zenith in the pre independence era, was almost brought to ruins during the rule of so called towering communist leader of the country!
In the 23 years of Jyoti Basu’s rule….youth fled from Bengal.
Employment eluded its able human resources.
Industrialists packed their bags and the per capita income of the people reduced considerably The worst dilemma of the populace was that it had to keep re-electing the party as it had no other viable choice!
To quote Suhel seth “ The only thing that didn’t move away from Bengal during those twenty three years was CPI(M) i.e. Communist Party of India Marwaris) . Suhel Seth makes an apt sarcastic remark as the Marxists (barring few honourable exceptions) in Bengal continued amassing wealth when the rest of the Bengal was languishing in poverty, thus christening them Marwaris.
In 1980s when Basu’s government took the decision to remove English language from the primary school curriculum, it denied access to the ‘language of opportunity’ to a generation of Bengalis. While one side he took steps to strengthen the trade unions throughout the state, on the other side he comfortably neglected the poor performing PSUs.
Basu did commendable work in the area of land reforms, enforcing Panchayati Raj institutions and empowering the poor peasants in the rural Bengal. He made agriculture a viable economic activity, but despite of all this I fail to comprehend why there are pockets in Bengal that remained untouched by “Development”. There has been a constant neglect of the tribal areas… no wonder the people are retaliating in places like Lalghar.
In short Jyoti Basu failed the most promising land of the country, especially when the whole of Bengal was at his feet for two decades.
As a person he has been described as one of the finest gentlemen or “Bhadralok”, but on political front when it came to “performance” Basu erred miserably! The Bhadraloks are not supposed to run the governments; they are the ones who run intellectual discourses. Jyoti Basu was a true Marxist ideologue, but was never ‘The Leader’ of the masses.
To conclude I would like to quote a Kolkata basi who expressed his view on the communist rule of Bengal when he was asked his opinion by a news channel, he quipped “The Communists do not believe in hell or heaven either.... hence they created the present day West Bengal”