July 8, 2013 marks the beginning of the birth centenary of Comrade Jyoti Basu, an outstanding leader of the Communist Party and the Left movement in India. Jyoti Basu, in his nearly seven decades of work as a Communist, left an indelible imprint on the political map of the country. He joined the Communist Party in 1940 and began his work in the railway trade union movement. In 1946, he was elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly from the Railway constituency. Since then, in his long parliamentary career, he became the role model for all Communists and progressives on how to work in parliamentary institutions and serve the people.
Jyoti Basu played a key role in the development of the Communist Party in West Bengal and at the all-India level. He was the Secretary of the Provincial Committee of the CPI from 1954 to 1960. He became a member of the Central Committee of the CPI in 1951. When the CPI(M) was formed, he became one of the founder Polit Bureau and Central Committee members.
Jyoti Basu became Chief Minister of the Left Front government of West Bengal in 1977 – a position he occupied continuously till 2000. Before that, he was twice Deputy Chief Minister in the UF governments between 1967 and 1970. Under his leadership, the government undertook the implementation of land reforms and the establishment of the panchayati raj system.
Under Jyoti Basu’s Chief Ministership, West Bengal became a bastion of communal harmony and secular values. He played a leading role in advocating the restructuring of Centre-State relations and for establishing a federal system.
Jyoti Basu was a leader who creatively applied Marxism to the concrete Indian conditions and made an immense contribution in charting out the course for the Party.
Jyoti Basu, in his lifetime, became a symbol for the Left, democratic and secular forces in the country.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls for a year-long celebration of the birth centenary of Jyoti Basu beginning from July 8, 2013. The centenary will be observed by holding meetings, seminars and a special campaign to propagate the life and contributions of this invaluable leader.