Today a golden era of Indian politics ended with the passing away of Comrade Jyoti Basu.
It was a long time back, I was in school back then. During my summer vacation I went to Darjeeling where I met him for the first time. He was the Chief Minister of West Bengal then, and it was impossible not to be impressed by his mesmerizing personality. Inspite of holding such a powerful position in Indian politics, he came down to the Darjeeling mall for a walk like any other ordinary person, sans any securities/body-guards. And when people crowded around him, he met each and every one of us. And in those few minutes that he remained there, I was awed with his persona.
On that day without even having a fair idea of his political prowess, I touched his feet in respect. I normally hold a very strong stance against Indian politicians, it is my firm belief that almost all the politicians in India are corrupt. But today I am proud to have touched the feet of Jyoti Basu.
As a politician he was incomparable. Even the likes of Indira Gandhi consulted him every now and then on political issues. He rose above the banalities of Indian politics and refused the Prime Minister-ship of India just because his party had asked him to do so! Would you really find any such examples in today's politics?
He always remained the leader of the masses. He was revered equally amongst politicians from his own party and others parties. It was he who helped the CPI(M) to rule over West Bengal for over 24 years. It is a feat in itself that in the largest democracy in the world, a Communist party rules an entire State for more than 2 decades!
The city of Calcutta mourns as he is being taken away on his final journey. But till the time the State of West Bengal would exist, Comrade Jyoti Basu would remain in the hearts and memories of it's people.
Love live Comrade Jyoti Basu. Red Salute to you from millions of your admirers.
[Picture courtsey : Jyoti Basu Memoirs]