Kolkata, July 9: Legendary Communist leader Jyoti Basu’s 108th birth anniversary was observed in West Bengal on Thursday with a plethora of cultural programmes, blood donation camps, symposiums, book releases and a seminar.
The nameplate at the Jyoti Basu Centre for Social Studies & Research was also inaugurated at Newtown in Rajarhat area near Kolkata .
At a valedictory programme after the inauguration, a seminar was held which was titled 'Cultural Regeneration', its main speaker being film critic and professor Samik Bandyopadhyay.
In his speech he emphasised on cultural leftist thought as a precursor to political leftism and that it needs nurturing in the country. He also lamented that people worldwide were experiencing a crisis and that capitalism was trying to take over the "consciousness" of the common people and that militarisation was being seen again. "The new fascist trends are trying to manifest themselves in the various echelons of society. By using corporate power the media is being bought over and used as an arsenal so that real news goes on the backburner," he said.
However, he added that not all was gone as "capitalism is being forced to give space to democracy to survive in the western countries."
As part of the programme , a tree sapling was also planted by Left Front Chairman Biman Basu CPI(M) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra, party Politburo Member M.D. Salim and other leaders.
At the valedictory lecture programme at Rabindra Bhavan in Newtown, various personalities from the field of art, science and culture were present. Former chief secretary of the state Amit Kiran Deb and Jyoti Basu’s press secretary Sarit Banerjee were also present. They reminisced about the CM, remembering him adopting a stern role in thwarting any untoward incident after the Babri Masjid Demolition or when trouble was brewing in Darjeeling. Film director Goutam Ghosh and artist Wasim Kapoor too sent video messages and remembered Basu as they knew him.
In another programme at a theatre in south Kolkata, a book by Kanti Ganguly, president of the National Platform for Rights of the Disabled, was also published. Film director Tarun Majumdar was present as was former minister Partha Dey and film director Kamaleshwar Mukhopadhya. A debate programme was also organised.
In another programme in Patuli, Jadavpur, a blood donation camp was held in Basu's memory. In South 24 Parganas district a total of 46 area commiitees of the CPI(M) organised programmes to pay their respects to Jyoti Basu. In Nimta of North 24 Parganas a blood donation camp was organised where 108 persons donated blood in honour of the late leader. Programmes were held in almost all the districts of south Bengal in memory of Jyoti Basu. A plethora of programmes was held in East Medinipore district and in Howrah. In Bandel a medical camp was held in memory of Basu where 137 persons availed medical check up facility.