New Delhi: Renowned agricultural scientist and the “Father of India’s Green Revolution”, MS Swaminathan, died on Friday (September 29), in Chennai at the age of 98. Dr Swaminathan’s groundbreaking contributions to agriculture revolutionised food security in India and earned him global recognition. Survived by his three daughters, Soumya Swaminathan, Madhura Swaminathan, and Nitya Swaminathan, his legacy is marked by a lifelong dedication to sustainable agriculture. The death of renowned agricultural scientist is a profound loss to the scientific community but his legacy endures and will continue to guide the world towards sustainable food security and agricultural innovation, scientists say.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X (formally Twitter), to pay homage to the father of ‘Green Revolution’.
Deeply saddened by the demise of Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji. At a very critical period in our nation’s history, his groundbreaking work in agriculture transformed the lives of millions and ensured food security for our nation. pic.twitter.com/BjLxHtAjC4
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 28, 2023
President Droupadi Murmu also paid tribute to Prof. Swaminathan.
The demise of Dr M S Swaminathan, internationally renowned agricultural scientist, saddens me no end. A visionary who worked endlessly to achieve food security, he was rightly called the Father of Green Revolution that ensured our country’s self-reliance in food grains. He…
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) September 28, 2023
Dr Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, the ‘Father of the Green Revolution’ who dedicated his life to revolutionising agriculture and ensuring food security for all, passed away in his Chennai home on Thursday. He was 98. Agriculturist Ranjitha Puskar, country representative for India and research at the Manila-headquartered International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), told PTI,
All of us have benefited immensely, directly or indirectly, from his vast contributions over the years. Without the Green Revolution in India, which he spearheaded, we would not have achieved food security.
She said his death was a tremendous loss to the scientific community in general and the agriculture fraternity in particular.
Mr Swaminathan, who dedicated his life to revolutionising agriculture and ensuring food security for all, leaves behind a legacy of innovation and dedication to sustainable farming, experts said. They are unanimous in their sentiment that his contribution to the field will serve as an enduring beacon, guiding the world towards sustainable food security and pioneering agricultural innovations.
In food researcher Mamata Pradhan’s words, Swaminathan was a visionary, an inspiration, and a role model. She said,
I was really fortunate to have worked with him very closely from 2007 to 2014 when we formed a coalition for food and nutrition security. He truly revolutionised Indian agriculture, worked towards self-sufficiency in food production when India was grappling with the threat of food insecurity and transformed India from a net importer of food grains to being a lead exporter to the global food basket. He was always looking for solutions for sustainable farming and improving the lives of the farmers.
Mr Swaminathan was born in Kumbakonam on August 7, 1925. His father’s involvement in the freedom movement and Mahatma Gandhi’s influence inspired his passion for agricultural science.
He worked closely with former prime ministers of India, playing a pivotal role in the success of the Green Revolution, catapulting India from being a net food importer to a leading exporter and ensuring a “Hunger-free India & World”, according to his foundation.
Describing him “the greatest agricultural scientist the world has ever seen”, J Justin Mohan, former secretary of the National Biodiversity Authority, said Swaminathan’s contribution to designing agricultural policies and schemes helped not only India but other countries as well.
The tributes poured in.
Environmentalist Sunita Narain took to ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) to thank Mr Swaminathan for his vast contribution to the world.
RIP #ProfessorMSSwaminathan. We will greatly miss your leadership, your insights and your support. As chairperson of #CSE you gave us strength and you taught us the value of humility and humanism. Thank you for all you did for us and for the world
— Sunita Narain (@sunitanar) September 28, 2023
T Jayaraman, senior fellow – climate change, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, remembered the many contributions of its founder and mentor.
Prof. M. S. Swaminthan's many awards included the most prized one of all, the respect and affection of millions of Indian farmers, in his lifetime, for bringing his science to their service and welfare and that of farmers all over the world. https://t.co/cqY5NM9LxY
— T. Jayaraman (@tjayaraman) September 28, 2023
ICAR paid homage to Prof. Swaminathan, the architect of the green revolution in India.
ICAR pays homage to Prof. M S Swaminathan, the architect of the green revolution in India.#MSSwaminathan #ICAR @nstomar @KailashBaytu @PIB_India @mygovindia @DDKisanChannel @AgriGoI @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/atLoJonxpP
— Indian Council of Agricultural Research. (@icarindia) September 29, 2023
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, and several other leaders from the two agrarian states expressed grief at the death of agricultural scientist.
भारतीय हरित क्रांति के जनक, पद्मविभूषण से सम्मानित प्रख्यात कृषि वैज्ञानिक श्री एमएस स्वामीनाथन जी का निधन भारतीय कृषि जगत के लिए एक अपूरणीय क्षति है।
उच्च उपज देने वाली फसल की किस्मों व आधुनिक तकनीकों को विकसित कर कृषि उत्पादन को उन्नत बनाने में उनका अतुलनीय योगदान सदैव स्मरणीय… pic.twitter.com/QrjmyaNSET
— Manohar Lal (@mlkhattar) September 28, 2023
Punjab CM Mann took to X (formally Twitter) saying,
This loss can never be filled.
ਦੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਉੱਘੇ ਖੇਤੀਬਾੜੀ ਵਿਗਿਆਨੀ ਐੱਮ.ਐੱਸ ਸਵਾਮੀਨਾਥਨ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਅਕਾਲ ਚਲਾਣੇ ਦੀ ਖ਼ਬਰ ਮਿਲੀ…ਖੇਤੀਬਾੜੀ ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਦੇ ਖੇਤਰ ‘ਚ ਅੱਜ ਇੱਕ ਯੁੱਗ ਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੈ…ਇਹ ਘਾਟਾ ਨਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਯੋਗ ਹੈ…ਕਿਸਾਨ ਤੇ ਖੇਤੀਬਾੜੀ ਲਈ ਸਵਾਮੀਨਾਥਨ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਸਹਿਯੋਗ ਰਹਿੰਦੀ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਤੀਕ ਯਾਦ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਵੇਗਾ….
ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੇ ਚਰਨਾਂ ‘ਚ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਸਵਾਮੀਨਾਥਨ ਜੀ… pic.twitter.com/t9n3MaPyMf
— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) September 28, 2023
My deepest condolences on the passing of Dr MS Swaminathan, the father of the green revolution in India.
Dr Swaminathan played a pivotal role in introducing and developing high yielding wheat and paddy varieties for which farmers of the country and especially Punjab will be… pic.twitter.com/sI10z1Wg6T
— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) September 28, 2023
Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the death of Agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan and called him a legendary figure in India’s economic history who transformed India’s agriculture sector.
Deeply anguished to learn about the passing away of Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji. A legendary figure in India's economic history Swaminathan Ji led a journey of transforming our agriculture sector by introducing the nation to the true power of its farmers. A scientific genius in his own…
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 28, 2023
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu also paid his tribute to Prof Swaminathan.
भारत की हरित क्रांति के जनक के रूप में विख्यात डॉ. एम. एस. स्वामीनाथन जी के निधन का समाचार अत्यंत दुखद है। पद्मविभूषण से सम्मानित प्रख्यात कृषि वैज्ञानिक श्री एमएस स्वामीनाथन जी का निधन भारतीय कृषि जगत के लिए अपूरणीय क्षति है। कृषि विज्ञान, जनसेवा व अनाज उपलब्धता हेतु उनके अतुल्य… pic.twitter.com/YC1xBkQzSY
— Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu (@SukhuSukhvinder) September 28, 2023
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the demise of eminent agricultural scientist was an “irreparable loss to the world of science”.
एक युग का अवसान !
भारत को खाद्य सुरक्षा प्रदान करने के प्रणेता हरित क्रांति के जनक श्री एमएस स्वामीनाथन जी का निधन विज्ञान जगत में अपूर्णीय क्षति है।
ईश्वर दिवंगत आत्मा को सद्गति प्रदान करे।
कृषि विज्ञान, जनसेवा व अनाज उपलब्धता हेतु आपका अतुल्य योगदान अविस्मरणीय रहेगा।… pic.twitter.com/rV275UevGF
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) September 28, 2023
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar also paid tribute the to legendary scientist.
विशिष्ट क्षेत्रात कार्य करणार्या सुप्रसिद्ध व्यक्तींचे उल्लेखनीय काम त्यांच्या नावाशी कायमचं जोडले जाते. तसेच डॉ. स्वामिनाथन म्हणजे हरित कृषिक्रांतीचे जनकच, त्यांच्या कर्तृत्वाचा हा शिखरबिंदूच जणू, हे खरे असले तरी, इतर अनेक क्षेत्रातील नेत्रदीपक कामगिरीमुळे त्यांची कीर्तिकमान… pic.twitter.com/tn9jEpB47P
— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) September 28, 2023
Expressing deep sorrow, Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais said,
Dr Swaminathan transformed the face of Indian agriculture and was instrumental in making India ‘Atma Nirbhar’ in the production of food grains. In his demise, India lost a one-man Agricultural University.
Deeply saddened by the news of the demise of the father of India's Green Revolution Dr M S Swaminathan in Chennai today.
— Governor of Maharashtra (@maha_governor) September 28, 2023
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin paid floral tribute.
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) September 29, 2023
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.