Indore, May 19: Former Union Minister Anil Madhav Dave's last rites were performed at his ancestral place in Indore on Friday. Union Ministers such as Uma Bharti, Dr Harshvardhan, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Bharatiya Janata Party national secretary Kailash Vijayvarigya and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan attended the ceremony.
The minister Anil Madhav Dave passed away on Thursday due to cardiac arrest and his sudden demise had shocked the entire nation including the political top brass.
According to official sources, Dave (60) had not been keeping well for the last few months. He complained of uneasiness at his home on Thursday morning and was rushed to AIIMS where he passed away. Also, the national flag will fly at half-mast across the country following the death of Dave.
Dave was born on 6 July 1956 in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. He did his M. Com at Gujarati College in Indore.
He joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and was working for the conservation of the Narmada River. He was a Member of Parliament, representing Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha since 2009.
The environment ministry has been in the news after the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee gave a recommendation last week for the commercial cultivation of GM Mustard.
The GEAC, a body of the ministry that evaluates genetically modified crops, had on 11 May recommended the commercial use of GM mustard.
The environment ministry had received over 700 comments from various stakeholders, including farmers and researchers, on the Assessment of Food and Environmental Safety report on GM mustard.
The application was submitted in 2015 after which several rounds of the meeting were held by the GEAC. GM mustard is the second genetically modified food crop after Bt Brinjal that has obtained all required regulatory approvals and reached the environment minister's table for clearance.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and offered his condolences after the demise Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave. Modi said,''I was with Anil Madhav Dave ji till late last evening, discussing key policy issues. This demise is a personal loss.''
He further said that Anil Madhav Dave ji will be remembered as a devoted public servant. He was tremendously passionate towards conserving the environment.
Also, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu expressed shock over the demise Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.
Plant trees instead of building me a memorial,' Anil Dave's last wishes
Minister Anil Madhav Dave proved to be an environmentalist until his last breath. The deceased minister had sought for a simple cremation and asked people to plant trees and clean lakes in his memory. The four-line letter with the minister's handwriting expressing his last wish and will is going viral.
In a letter dated July 23, 2012, Anil Madhav Dave has asked for his last rites to be conducted on the banks of Narmada. The minister who is known for his efforts for conservation of the river wanted his last rites to be conducted in Bhadrabhan. The letter also shows the minister seeking a simple cremation in the Vedic style. He has requested that no hype be created over his cremation.
As part of his last wishes, Anil Dave asked those close to him not to build memorials or statues for him or organise programs in his memory.
Instead, he said that those who really want to remember him should plant trees, clean lakes and rivers. Dave has asked for people not to invoke his name for any environment-friendly initiatives that are undertaken in his memory.
The junior minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet is remembered for his efforts to revive the Narmada river. He was the founder of Narmada Samagra, a non-profit organisation which works on conservation of the Narmada and its catchment areas through various activities and events.
He had pushed for chemical-free farming along the river to avoid damage to the river. He was appreciated for many environmental and restoration activities.