Mumbai, Sep 28 (IANS): Top Maharashtra leaders grieved over the passing of the renowned agro-scientist and Father of India’s Green Revolution, M. S. Swaminathan in Chennai on Thursday.
Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais said in a condolence message: “Dr. Swaminathan transformed the face of Indian agriculture and was instrumental in making India ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) in the production of food-grains... the country has lost a one-man agricultural university’ in his passing.”
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said, “the farmers of the country have lost a great son who sacrificed his life to give them and the country self-respect in the field of agriculture and food security to a billion people”.
“India’s progress in agriculture, soil and water conservation was due to Swaminathan’s continuous efforts, his research which enabled India achieve food sufficiency and giving dignity to the farmers, labourers and earned the title of Father of Indian Green Revolution,” said Shinde, of the ruling ally Shiv Sena.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was “pained to hear about the demise of Swaminathan whose immense contribution to farmers’ welfare will always be remembered”.
“His recommendations helped policy makers frame many schemes and initiatives on many occasions and help the country become independent in food-grains,” said Fadnavis.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that Swaminathan holds the lion’s share in making India self-reliant in terms of food-grains.
“By erasing the stigma of being a food-scarce nation from India’s forehead, Dr. Swaminathan gave the mantra of self-sufficiency to the poor farmers to produce more through hybrid seeds, many of which he created, that enabled higher yields even for small land-holder peasants,” said Ajit Pawar.
Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole termed him as a remarkable person whose invaluable contributions to agricultural research and innovations altered the course of modern Indian history
“He will be remembered for his pioneering role in advancing India’s agricultural potential, rescuing millions from hunger and potential famines, and bringing about a transformative change in the lives of our people,” said Patole.
NCP MP Supriya Sule said: “Dr. Swaminathan will always be remembered for radical change in the country’s agriculture, making India self-reliant in food production and boosting agriculture by developing new rice varieties that brought more income to the poor farmer.”
Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA Aditya Thackeray said that Dr. Swaminathan’s contributions in developing agricultural practices that would provide income to the country’s smaller farmers was an inspiration to the entire world and his contributions shall be cherished forever.
Several other leaders across the political spectrum recalled Dr. Swaminathan’s services to the country and for dragging out the country from the twin-evil of hunger-and-famine by his sterling contributions to the agriculture sector, and reversing the role from being an importer of food-grains to becoming a surplus nation and even an exporter.