India Leader Basu Dies

Jyoti Basu, a major leader in the Communist Party of India, died today at the age of 95. Basu garnered huge amounts of national concern and attention in the days leading up to his death, drawing crowds who waited outside the hospital where he was being treated, and a personal phone call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who later said that Basu’s passing “marks the end of an era in the annals of Indian politics.” After helping to found the Communist Party of India, Basu came close to becoming the nation’s first communist prime minister but was stopped by disputes within his party. Basu also leaves a legacy of major land reforms that distributed land to over two million families in India.