Comrade Jyothi Basu's greatest contribution is that he gave life to many who were otherwise denied the right to be called human beings. That singular contribution is enough for us to keep on going.
Venkatesh Ramakrishnan once wrote about an election time in Satgachia. VR asked a villager, who had come to hear Comrade Jyothi Basu, "why he voted when the condition of the road is so bad". The reply, followed by an angry look was "He gave me life". That singular statement is enough to know the contribution of Comrade Jyothi Basu and CPM to the cause of poor and downtrodden.
After the election campaign, VR asked Com. Jyothi Basu, "Why is the condition of roads becoming an election issue". The reply was "Roads are an election issue here also. More important is to give the people home, job and food. We are trying hard and is successful in that and people know that".
In another article VR wrote about was the participatory democracy. It was a distribution of woolen sheet in a village. There were limited stock and for distributing that there was a gram sabha - in which all people placed their arguments. Arguments went on till the last woolen sheet was distributed. VR quoted this incident to show the involvement of the very last man in the streets in decision making process.
A fitting tribute to Comrade Jyothi Basu will be for all of us to work together and to take forward his ideals.
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