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Bangladesh decides to preserve Jyoti Basu`s ancestral house

Last Updated: Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 20:16

Dhaka: Bangladesh has decided to preserve
as a heritage site former West Bengal chief minister and
veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu`s ancestral home at suburban
Sonargaon, officials said on Sunday.

"A plan has been taken to set up a museum and a library
of international standard at the home as Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina took the initiative to preserve it," an official
familiar with the decision said.

He added that a high-level committee was also formed in
this regard with Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman
for Cultural Affairs Obaidul Qader as its head.

The official said the Prime Minister directed the
concerned officials to take quick steps for rehabilitation of
the age-old two-story building on over two acres of land at
Barudi union, some 8 kilometres off the Sonargaon sub-district
headquarters and 10 kilometres off the Chittagong Road.

The Cultural Affairs Ministry, Communication Ministry and
Works Ministry would jointly work for rehabilitation of the
Basu`s ancestral home, which the Basu family left when India
was partitioned in 1947, he said.

The state-run BSS news agency, meanwhile, quoting Qader
said he already contacted the 95-year-old leader and obtained
his consent to the government decision.

"He (Basu) is a pride for the Bengali nation and
therefore the Prime Minister took the decision to preserve his
memories," said Qader, who visited the site two weeks ago.

Basu`s father Nishikanta Basu, a doctor, hailed from the
village of Barudi. Basu visited twice his ancestral home where
he has sweet childhood memories though he was born and studied
in Kolkata.

Local residents and officials said currently a caretaker,
Mohammad Shahidullah, appointed by Basu himself was residing
at the main house along with his family while another house in
the complex is resided by several other families.

The Basu family earlier handed over the possession to one
Ayetun Nesa of Sonargaon as she looked after Jyoti Basu in
his childhood.

Basu last visited his ancestral home in 1997, local
officials said.

An official familiar with the development said, the
district administration prepared and forwarded a proposal
last week to the government suggesting Basu`s ancestral home
to be developed as a museum and library.

Basu, the longest-serving Chief Minister in Indian
political history, held the post from June 21, 1977 to
November 6, 2000.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 20:16

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