Languages
Page last updated at 08:00 GMT, Sunday, 17 January 2010

Indian communist leader Basu dies

Former chief minister Jyoti Basu
Jyoti Basu ruled West Bengal for 23 years

Veteran Indian communist leader Jyoti Basu has died at the age of 95.

He led the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and was chief minister of West Bengal state from 1977 to 2000.

Jyoty Basu was credited with restoring stability to the state, and bringing in land reforms. He died in Calcutta after a long illness.

In 1996 he was offered to lead the federal government as PM in a left-of-centre coalition, but his party chose to support it from the outside.

Mr Basu described his party's decision decision not to join the coalition as a "historic blunder."

He made Communism look respectable
Sabyasachi Basu Roy Choudhuri

The BBC's Soutik Biswas in Delhi says he was easily India's most respected communist leader.

Our correspondent says Jyoti Basu leaves behind a controversial and mixed legacy. Though he undertook crucial land reforms in West Bengal state and empowered the peasantry, the state slid into industrial stagnation and was wracked by radical trade unionism under his rule.

Businesses fled West Bengal, unemployment rose, and industrial unrest was rife, our correspondent says.

Jyoty Basu was often described as a Fabian socialist rather than an orthodox communist.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Obituary: Jyoti Basu
17 Jan 10 |  South Asia
Concern over ailing Indian leader
06 Jan 10 |  South Asia
Bastion of Indian communism crumbles
17 May 09 |  South Asia
Poll woe looms for West Bengal left
08 Apr 09 |  South Asia
Bengal left celebrates 30 years
21 Jun 07 |  South Asia
Left veteran just wants to retire
13 Sep 06 |  South Asia
New generation heads India's left
11 Apr 05 |  South Asia
India's communists shun national stage
17 May 04 |  South Asia


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific