Birth Anniversary of Shri Jyoti Basu (Politician)
• Jyoti Basu was born at 43/1 Harrison Road in Calcutta (now Mahatma Gandhi Road) on 8 July 1914. • In 1935, the freshly-graduated Jyoti Basu went to the United Kingdom, returning in 1940 after having studied at University College, London, and become a barrister at the Middle Temple. • In 1937, Jyoti Basu joined various Indian student unions in Britain, such as the India League led by V.K. Krishna Menon, and the Federation of Indian Students. Having developed a firm belief in the Communist ideals, Jyoti Basu returned to India in 1940 and joined the Communist Party of India, also becoming secretary of the Friends of the Soviet Union and Anti-Fascist Writers’ and Artists’ Association in Calcutta. • In 1944, Jyoti Basu started working with trade and railways unions of Bengal. • After the India-China War of 1962, differences arose in the CPI. Two years later, the party split, leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and Jyoti Basu became one of the founding members of its politburo. • In 1977, after the Emergency, the Left Front came to power in West Bengal, with Jyoti Basu, who had switched to the Satgachia constituency, becoming CM. • Jyoti Basu retired from active politics in 2000, leaving the Left Front government in the hands of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who ruled for 11 more years. • Jyoti Basu remained a member of the CPI(M) politburo till 2008, and a special invitee of the party’s central committee till his death. • In 1996, Jyoti Basu was the consensus leader of the United Front after Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s short-lived 13-day government, but the CPI(M) decided not to participate in the government — a decision Basu later dubbed a “historic blunder”. • Jyoti Basu suffered multiple organ failure on 1 January 2010, and was admitted to AMRI Hospital, Salt Lake. • Jyoti Basu died on 17 January 2010. • As per Jyoti Basu’s wishes, his body and eyes were handed over to SSKM Hospital, Kolkata, for research.