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Dave’s last wishes: Plant tree, preserve rivers but don’t use my name

His will is not just a legal document listing last wishes - it is also an insight into the mind of the politician and environmental crusader.

india Updated: May 18, 2017 18:42 IST
Bhopal, Hindustan Times
Anil Dave,Will,Environmental crusader
Union minister Anil Madhav Dave passed away on Thursday morning.(PTI File Photo)

It is titled ‘My wish, my will’. Dated July 23, 2012.

But Anil Dave’s ‘will’ is not just a legal document listing the former Union minister’s last wishes - it is also an insight into the mind of the politician and environmental crusader who passed away on Thursday in Delhi. He was 60.

Dave’s close associate and state Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president Vijesh Lunawat told Hindustan Times that the former minister signed the will shortly before he underwent a bypass surgery in December, 2012.

Dave, a bachelor and a lifelong member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), said in his will his last rites should be performed at Bandrabhan, a Hindu holy place on the banks of the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district.

It was at Bhandraban that Dave used to hold international conferences on the need for preservation of rivers, especially the Narmada to which he had admitted to a spiritual bond.

“No memorials, contests, prizes, statue etc., should be there to commemorate me,” Dave wrote in Hindi in his will.

“If those who really want to do anything to commemorate me, plant a tree and nurture it, it will give me pleasure. Likewise, efforts can be made for preservation of river and water bodies as per one’s capabilities. While doing so they should avoid using my name,” he wrote.

Dave also apologised for any mistake in the language and writing of his will.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a photo of the will saying it was a manifestation of simplicity and selflessness in public life. “It is an illustration of Nishkama Karma Yoga,” Modi said, referring to the phrase which loosely translates to selfless work.

Lunawat said Dave did not share information about the will ti anybody in the BJP, with which he was associated for a long time.

“He might have written the will while he came to know that bypass surgery was inevitable and there was always a risk in such an operation,” Lunawat added.

First Published: May 18, 2017 18:22 IST