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Admiration for Basu’s wish
Published on 19 Jan. 2010 11:56 PM IST
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Jyoti Basu’s pledge to donate his body and eyes has drawn all-round praise with medicos and commoners saying the noble deed will motivate others to tread the same path and help in medical treatment and research. “It is really his greatness that he has donated his eyes so that the blind can be provided vision. His body will surely help medical students in their research work,” said Animesh Debnath, who works as a cook in South Kolkata’s Bhowanipore. Deb Mukherjee, a small time businessman of South Kolkata, felt Basu’s act will enable him serve the people even after his death. “Basu was one of the greatest leaders I have seen in my life. He is one of the greatest patriots post-Independence. I do admire his decision to donate his eyes and body as a gesture to serve the people even after his death,” said Mukherjee. “He was a great leader. Such kind of gesture can be expected from a great leader like him only,” said Saibal Roy, a 35-year-old engineer with a public sector undertaking. Doctors too hailed the gesture of the veteran leader. “It’s really appreciable that such a great leader took the initiative to donate his eyes and body. In the near future it will motivate others to donate their eyes so that the blind can see,” said Amalendu Chakroborty, a general surgeon. Abhijit Banerjee, a doctor said: “It is a great initiative on Jyoti Basu’s part. His initiative will motivate others to donate their eyes and body which are needed for research.” In 2003 Jyoti Basu signed a pledge to donate his eyes after death to Susrut Eye Foundation. The same year, he penned his resolve to donate his body to a non-government organisation Gana Darpan for medical research. Basu’s cornea were taken out soon after his death Sunday. His body will be handed over to the state’s only referral SSKM Hospital Tuesday evening. However, before Basu, two other senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders - Anil Biswas and Benoy Chowdhury - had donated their bodies which were handed over to the state-run NRS Hospital after their death. No memorials, no flowers at his grave The outpouring of grief, the crowds lining the streets, the cortege weaving its way through a city come to a standstill. India bid a tearful adieu to another beloved leader Tuesday -- but this journey ended in hospital with Left patriarch Jyoti Basu dedicating his body to medical science. In what is a first, the last journey ended not in a cremation or a burial ceremony; in fact, it was no funeral procession at all. Jyoti Basu began his final journey from the private AMRI Hospital, where he had been admitted for pneumonia and multiple organ failure, and ended at the state-run SSKM Hospital where his body would be used for the furtherance of medical science.His eyes had already been harvested. The body entered the hospital through the VIP gate of the hospital amid a tight security cordon, received by the anatomy department. No memorials for this Marxist leader, who was West Bengal chief minister for 23 years, no death anniversaries to be observed at his last resting place, no flowers at his grave. Closure, if any, would not be easy for his many followers.

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