It was revealed on Thursday that Union Minister Anil Dave, in his will, said he would prefer trees being planted in his memory rather than the erection of a memorial. Dave, who took charge as Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change last July, also expressed the desire to be cremated on the banks of the Narmada, news agency PTI reported. The 60-year-old, who had been suffering from pneumonia since January, reportedly wrote his will in 2012. Dave was also a Member of Parliament since 2009.
“Dave left a will in 2012 in which he said that his body should be cremated on the banks of the Narmada,” an official source told PTI. He added that the will said that if people love and respected him, they should plant a tree.
Dave was was known for his work on the conservation of the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh, his home state. He had also founded the ‘Narmada Samagra’ organisation that worked towards the same goal. “Big dams older than 20 years need to be put through a social and economic audit to see what we gained from them and what we lost, and whether their utility still remains,” he had said in one of his speeches in Parliament.
Leaders from across parties paid tribute to Dave on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying, “Absolutely shocked by the sudden demise of my friend & a very respected colleague, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave ji. My condolences. Anil Madhav Dave ji will be remembered as a devoted public servant. He was tremendously passionate towards conserving the environment. I was with Anil Madhav Dave ji till late last evening, discussing key policy issues. This demise is a personal loss.”
This document is a manifestation of simplicity & selflessness in public life. It is an illustration of Nishkama Karma Yoga. pic.twitter.com/VWuS2FsnMw
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2017
As a mark of respect, the National Flag will fly half-mast on Thursday in the capitals of all State and Union Territory on all the buildings where it is flown regularly. It will also fly half-mast on the day of his funeral.