Subroto Roy notes *The Communist Internationale* being played at the state funeral of Jyoti Basu (1914-2010), the last of India’s old communists, a college-mate in the 1930s of his father (who thought JB’s politics misguided and once suggested JB form a Labour Party for India instead), whom he met in 2003 for some advice on how to fight a corrupt mafia in government.
Subroto Roy recalls his hour-long conversation with Jyoti Basu (1914-2010) in the summer of 2003: I gave him my 1990-1991 memos to Rajiv Gandhi published in The Statesman after Rajiv’s assassination, and he talked of his experience with Indira and his (favourable) view of Sonia Gandhi. His advice on the battle against government irregularities was helpful too (or perhaps not…)
I went to see Jyoti Basu at his residence re the IIT Kgp matter. He had been a college buddy of my father’s. He heard me and said words to the effect “tumi amadeyr doleyr nauw”, you are not of our party, our side… meaning his leftist brand…Power & politics everywhere!
Subroto Roy, even though a Nozickian libertarian at the time, recalls writing in the summer of 1977 from the Indian Statistical Institute New Delhi where he was a visiting fellow, a letter of congratulations to Jyoti Basu when Basu first led a democratically elected Communist government, the only one in the world (after Allende).
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