Tribute to an Intellectual Politician

Anil Madhav Dave

Anil Madhav Dave (1956-2017)


I pay my tribute to Shri Anil Madhav Dave ji, a social worker, RSS prachark, Environmentalist, especially river conservation activist, author, armature pilot, Rajya Sabha MP and Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It was my privilege to have occasional interactions with him. When I had my first meeting with him, an unexpectedly warm reception was given to us by standing with folded hands when I entered the residence of Mr. Anil Dave at his residential accommodation attached to the BJP Bhavan in Bhopal along with one of my friends Mr. Anil Pillai. We had an appointment with him for a brief meeting. I had two purposes to meet him. One was to invite him for the Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti celebration as Chief Guest and to inaugurate an approach road of Sree Narayana Mission campus in Bhopal. My second and more important purpose was to present him some books on Sree Narayana Guru and His works as well as to briefly discuss with him the Guru’s philosophy, its significance and relevance for society regardless to the classifications on the basis of religion, geographical boundaries, languages spoken, social and economic differences as these are all not stable or unchangeable.

I found him to be a very patient listener and an eager learner. He told me that he had occasions to understand about Sree Narayana Guru and expressed his desire to learn more about the Guru. What was there in my mind when I was going to invite a Political Leader as Chief Guest was totally transformed after the meeting. I realized that the meeting was with a scholar, an intellectual, soft-spoken, patient observer and a person not eager to display his haste unlike other politicians, but very punctual in his timings. He had kindly accepted our invitation and attended the programme very promptly. I still remember that it was a day with heavy rain, but he reached the venue in time and honored us with his presence throughout the programme. His speech in a reasonable voice filled with valuable content reflected that he had a good reading on Sree Narayana Guru and his concept of ONENESS. I also had the privilege to attend the function where his Book titled as “Beyond Copenhagen” was released. There are number of books in Hindi and English to his credit. In Hindi, some of his books are ‘Shivaji & Suraj’, ‘Narmada Samagra – Rafting Through Civilisation: A Travel Louge’, ‘Roti aur Kamal ki Kahani’. His English works included ‘Beyond Copenhagen’ and ‘Yes I Can, So Can We’.

During our discussions, he enquired about the Sree Narayana Organizations in MP and other states. On my briefing about the existence of large independent Sree Narayana Organisations in every city of the country, he suggested about setting up the Umbrella Organization for better coordination among them and the creation of a wider platform for rendering greater services to the society in line with the thoughts of the great Guru. He had appreciated me for having organized a Central Regional convention of Sree Narayana Organizations of undivided Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and encouraged me to do it on the national level. Thereafter with the grace of the great Guru, an umbrella organization named as Universal Confederation of Sree Narayana Guru Organisations (SNGC) with 68 member organizations in India and abroad is now working on a big platform with lakhs of member families throughout the Country and the said organization was originated from Bhopal itself.

It was the interactions with him that inspired me about going deep into the rich Indian spiritual background of the era of great Sages. It also echoed from him that the Teachings and Philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru was greatly influenced him in the creation of a better social network of people from all walks of life in India without giving space for discrimination among humans on any pretext. He used to be very vocal on the value-based services being rendered by the swayam sevaks in nation-building and the high heritage of India being upheld by them. I must wholeheartedly accept that it was my interactions with him inspired me to learn more about and gradually motivated towards it and the inherited political ideology.

Many people in Bhopal or Madhya Pradesh may not be knowing that he was the Chief of the Assembly Election Management Committee for BJP during the assembly election in 2003 with the responsibility of the planning, organizing, structuring and implementing the election work of Madhya Pradesh including surveying and suggesting winnable candidates to the top level party leadership and campaign programmes of various leaders, etc when Digvijay Singh was the Chief Minister with 10 years continuous tenure. The front face and star campaigner was Sushree Uma Bharati, but the person behind the election management was Anil Dave. Thus he was instrumental for the BJP to capture the power in MP after 10 years of continuous Congress ruling lead by Mr. Digvijay Singh.

Anil Dave flew a Cessna 173 over Narmada from its source to mouth for 18 hours to complete his travel of Narmada in air, the first person to do so. Not only this, Anil Dave is known for traveling across Narmada on a raft for 19 days. His rigidness towards the utmost utilization of food items without causing any wastage is also widely known.

After our programme, we had a fruitful relationship. During the period when he was Rajya Sabha MP, there were many occasions when we used to meet in Bhopal Airport and traveled together to Delhi and back. Whenever we were together, he used to talk to me at length. On learning that I am working with CIPET, he talked to me regarding plastics and its crisis. But after discussions in detail, his view was totally changed and he agreed that the very thin polyethylene bags alone creates confusion and started enquiring about the possibility of using plastics for river bank conservation. He was a statesman and a visionary.

A massive heart attack on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at New Delhi took Anil Madhav Dave for his heavenly abode. The Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had tweeted shock on his death and termed it as a “personal loss” to him. A simple person born in Badnagar in the Ujjain District of Madhya Pradesh, on 6th July 1956 had traveled through a long way from a normal social worker to a great personality and he will always be remembered among the highest echelon of Researcher on Indian Historical Backgrounds, writers, Environmentalists, River Conservation Activities, Social workers, Politicians of High Ethics, etc. etc.


K. K. Sasidharan,
Vice Chairman-AB,
Universal Confederation of
Sree Narayana Guru Organisations, (SNGC)
& Former President, Sree Narayana Mission, Bhopal.

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2 Responses to Tribute to an Intellectual Politician

  1. Kamalakaran KP says:

    Apt Message at the right moment with proper representation with adequate information

  2. v.g.shashikumar says:

    Well said Sasi Sir. Late Anil Madhav Dave an Environmentalist and a politician of repute is an amiable man of varied interests. His interest and knowledge about Sree Narayana Guru is impeccable and shows his versatility and deep involvement with what is good for the union of India in general and Kerala in particular got from the philosophy and teachings from the spiritual leader our Guru Devan. Anil Madhav should have a thorough understanding and reading of the injustice prevailed in the caste ridden society of Kerala and the role of Sree Narayana Guru in promoting spiritual enlightenment and social equality in that area.

    I really appreciate and is really envey your close and true acquaintance with such a wonderful personality, who left us all when we are in dire need of such great men. It also prove the saying that good people are called by God very early.

    I personally bow my head before this great human being. May his soul rest in peace in heaven.

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