NEW DELHI: Tributes poured in from leaders of political parties to veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu.
Offering heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Basu, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Mr. Basu did not go gentle into good night but fought bravely until his last breath, just as he did throughout his life.
“And what a rich, fulfilled and glorious life he had. He served his country, his party, and his State with whole-hearted dedication for over half a century ... He was a towering figure in our national life, whose noble vision, superb judgement and depth of experience we all valued greatly,” she said in her condolence message to Mr. Basu’s son, Chandan Basu.
The Bharatiya Janata Party mourned a “true communist stalwart.” Its president Nitin Gadkari described Mr. Basu as one of the tallest leaders of contemporary India. “He was a leader committed to the weaker sections of society. He remained firm and committed to his ideology and his sense of idealism. His stature and credibility led to his long innings in political life,” he said.
A fighter till last
The Communist Party of India said he was the tallest man in the Indian communist movement. The party’s Central Secretariat said Mr. Basu was a fighter all through his life right from the day he joined the Communist party till his advanced age.
“He was a leader and an organiser of the Indian Trade Union Movement and the leader of the Communist Movement…The country has lost a great leader and a legendary communist.”
The All India Forward Bloc said his loss was not only for the CPI(M) but also for the entire Left, working class and progressive movement in the country, its general secretary Debabrata Biswas said.
All India Kisan Sabha, the farmers’ wing of the CPI(M), recalled that under his leadership, the Left Front government initiated far-reaching measures in the interest of the toiling masses and the peasantry.
“The achievements on this [land reforms] front are unparalleled and even after three decades it remains unsurpassed by any other State,” its president S. Ramachandran Pillai and general secretary K. Vardha Rajan said.
The CPI(ML) Liberation said Mr. Basu’s demise marked the passing of a generation and it coincided with a crisis of the centrist tendency in the Indian Communist movement that he personified.
The LJP leader and former Union Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, said the life and work of Mr. Basu would continue to inspire future generations.