Until just a few years ago, this would be Jyoti Basu’s daily routine. But the picture completely changed on Tuesday. The hushed silence created a spell over 31 Alimuddin Street. And then as the Left patriarch’s body arrived at the headquarters of the CPI-M West Bengal unit, continuous cries of “Lal salaam” and “Amar rahe” took over.
The city of joy turned somber. The country witnessed a sea of humanity flooding Kolkata as the hearse carrying the former chief minister’s body reached the doorstep of Muzaffar Ahmed Bhavan. The CPI(M) party’s red flag draped body traversed a few kilometers to reach Alimuddin Street from Peace Haven.
Adorned with party flags and flowers the hearse had to move very slowly through the mourning crowd on the road to reach the building. With fists held tightly in the manner of traditional communist red salutes, all politburo members of the Communist Party of India stood with wet eyes to pay their last tribute to the iconic leader.
Red flags, festoons and banners covered the entire stretch of Alimuddin Street. People and party workers with a heavy heart formed human chains on both sides of the road carrying placards with slogans and excerpts of Rabindranath Tagore’s compositions like ‘tomari hok joy’.
The whole city wept irrespective of their political ideologies. Basu got a completely fulfilling last journey amidst love and tears.