Memories Remain – Late Anil Madhav Dave - Shivraj Singh Chouhan

It is hard to believe that Anil Dave Ji is no more with us. An amazing personality, a river conservator, environmentalist, creative thinker and an able administrator. Anil Ji was a creative writer. He had a highly imaginative mind. He has written several books. He was an exceptional strategist. He dedicated his entire life to the service of the country. As a Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh campaigner, he dedicated his entire life to the service of the society and the country.

Whatever responsibility he got, Anil Ji fulfilled it. As per the Sangh’s plan, he was the campaigner for Bhopal division and I was his Swayam- Sevak. He would take care of everyone. I remember when I met with an accident, he ensured that I got my operation done by Dr. Dholkiya in Mumbai. He would always take care of his workers and would always be busy in work. He was a skillful strategist. It would be no exaggeration to say that it was due to his skillful strategy that we won the Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections in the year 2003, 2008 and 2013. His contribution in the victory was noteworthy.

Though always busy in work and an ardent devotee of Maa Narmada, still whenever he got time he would reach the banks of Narmada. He was a pilot. He performed Narmada Parikrama on a small plane and then also passed on in a raft. He had also taken choupal meetings on Narmada conservation. He would organize Narmada Mahotsav in every two years at Bandrabhan. I would also take part in it. When I had told him about the idea of “Namami Devi Narmade” – Seva Yatra he was very happy. It was my earnest desire that he should attend Narmada Seva Yatra and he did attend on May 9. He even took part in the Nadi, Jal and Paryavaran Sanrakshan programme held on May 8 in Bhopal. I spoke to him day before last. I told him that the Amarkantak programme was a success. I told him about the future planning and that we would jointly carry out the work. In a short span as the Environment and Forest Minister he displayed great skill and administrative dexterity despite his ill health. Born and brought up in Indian culture, Anil Ji is no longer in our midst, it is hard to believe.

With his passing away, we have lost an able administrator, river conservator, environmentalist and a leader dedicated to the country. His departure is an irreparable loss to the state and the country. But it is more a personal loss to me. I am in shock. But we cannot control our destiny. He has expressed the desire in his will that his last rites should be performed in Bandrabhan where the Nadi Mahotsav is held as per Vedic rituals and no competitions, awards or namkaran should be done in his memory. If anything has to be done, people should plant sapling and conserve them and allow them to grow and that he would be happy if rivers and ponds are conserved and his name is not mentioned. Only a great person can write such a will.

I bow down at the feet of such a great person. God has given him a place in his Shri Charan. God grant peace to his soul and thousands of political workers like me pray to give strength to the family to bear the loss. If possible Anil Ji come back…….

(Blogger is Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister)