Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave died on Thursday morning in Delhi of a cardiac arrest. He had complained of uneasiness at his home and was rushed to AIIMS where he passed away. Anil Madhav Dave, a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh, was appointed as the Minister of State (MoS) independent charge of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in the Narendra Modi government’s cabinet reshuffle in July last year.
Who was he?
Hailing from Barnagar village of Ujjain district in Madhya Pradesh, Dave held an M. Com degree from Gujarati College in Indore. Dave was known to be sensitive to issues pertaining to the environment. He devoted his life to social work and remained unmarried.
His political journey:
He was a committed leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He began his political career in his college days and also participated in the JP Movement. He shot to fame in 2003 after he developed a strategy which led to the defeat of Chief Minister Digvijay Singh.He was sworn as the minister with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change last year. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2009.
Dave was a cadet of the National Cadet Corps’ Air Wing. He had an amateur pilot licence and had flown a Cessna 173 aircraft along the banks of Narmada for 18 hours to complete his circumambulation in air. He has also penned several books in Hindi and English on the subject of politics, administration, art and culture. Some of his prominent works include Shivaji and Suraaj; Creation to Cremation; rafting through a civilization: a travelogue; Shatabdi ke Paanch Kaale Panne; Sambhal Ke Rehna Apne Ghar Me Chhupe Hue Gaddaron Se; Mahanayak Chandrashekhar Azad; Roti Aur Kamal ki Kahani; Samagra Gram Vikas; Amarkantak se Amarkantak Tak ; Beyond Copenhagen; Yes I Can, So Can We”.
Well known for his work on Narmada river, Dave was the founder of ‘Narmada Samagra’ that works for the conservation of Narmada and its catchment area through various activities. From March 2010 to June 2010, he had also been a member of the Parliamentary Forum on Global Warming and Climate Change.
Dave initiated programme for the development of bio-toilets in every school in MP’s Hoshangabad district. Through this project, 98000 students from 1880 schools in Hoshangabad district will have separate toilet facilities for boys and girls.
Being the Minister of State of Environment Ministry, he was at the Centre of a controversy over the use of GM Mustard. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), an autonomous body within the ministry, has last week recommended the commercial cultivation of GM Mustard. The final nod would have to have come from the deceased minister.