Union Environment minister and long-time RSS member Anil Dave passed away today. He was 60. The two-time Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh complained of uneasiness at his home this morning and was rushed to AIIMS where he died.
As political leaders – including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi – condoled the death of the leader, a note describing his last wishes has surfaced detailing how he would like his last rites to be carried out and how people should remember him.
Five years before his death, Dave had made a note of some of his last wishes, in writing.
In a letter head titled ‘MY WSH AND WILL’, Dave had on July 23, 2012, as a Rajya Sabha MP, written that ‘if possible, he should be cremated at the venue of ‘nadi mahotsav’ (river festival) in Bandrabhan of Hoshangabad district in Madhya Pradesh’.
Another wish was that his last rites be kept a low-key affair and that only ‘vedic karma’ be performed.
“No memorial, competition, award and statue etc. should be run by anyone in my name,” his third wish reads.
“If anybody wants to do anything in my name, he should plant trees and conserve them. This will please me,” it reads further.
Dave was best known for crafting the BJP strategy to unseat Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh as Madhya Pradesh CM in 2003.
The news of Dave, a bachelor, was broken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet, who said he was with the minister until late last evening, discussing policy issues.
"Absolutely shocked by the sudden demise of my friend & a very respected colleague, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave ji. My condolences," he said in the tweet.
Born in Bandrabhan, Dave was sworn in as a Minister of State with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change in 2016.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Dave will be ‘fondly remembered for his humble personality’.