On Sept 28th, a truly great son of Bharat passed away. Dr M S Swaminathan was the architect of the green revolution that made India self sufficient in food production.
@thekaipullai wrote a short tweet thread about him that am reposting here. You can read it on this link – About Bharat’s greatest.
Two days ago, one of the greatest Indians in the history of India, passed away. And most of us didn't notice. Which is very sad. Because this guy is the greatest, not only in India from 1947 but our whole 5000 year old civilization He is MS Swaminathan. And this is his story. The food situation in India in the early 1960s was absolutely pathetic. Indian food production had dropped continously and reached the nadir in 1965 At 72 mil tonnes. The situation was so bad that a team of US Scientists predicted death of millions, due to starvation. in the 70s we were entirely dependent on the US for food. Not imports that we paid for. We begged to throw some food at us. Which they did. The program was called PL 480. Under PL 480, we got little rice. And the wheat they supplied, as someone put it, "wasn't fit for pigs" And then US being US, started playing politics with food. They made food supplies contingent on our support in Vietnam. Overall the situation was bad It was not for fun or some intermittent fasting thing that Shastri asked us to skip one meal. Because we didn't have any food. This was when MS Swaminathan entered Right from the outset MS worked to make India self sufficient in food grains. He focussed on wheat and to that effect he collaborated extensively with Norman Borlaug He created hybrid varieties of wheat that withstood Indian conditions. And when farmers were very hesitant, He personally demonstrated the efficacy of his new creation. Slowly the tide turned. Farmers got convinced. They adopted the new practices. Then a miracle happened. We know it as the green revolution. And it was a revolution indeed. India's wheat production in 1967 was 11.3 Million MT. By 1970, it went up to 20 million MT. It never came down after that. India was self sufficient in food. And we have been that ever since. All thanks to the stellar effort of Dr Swaminathan And his team. Now why is this so important.Because if you take any destructive revolution in history, the root cause is always food When people go hungry they become desperate. Desperate people then rebel Rebellions cause death and destruction We saw it in France, China, Haiti, Venezuela. When hunger strikes a country, that country almost always breaks up. In a bloody manner. MS Swaminathan's achievements ensured India has never gone hungry. His achievements ensured we always had food. We never went hungry. Ever. And thanks to that, we have stayed together as a Country, inspite of all our upheavals, Our tribulations and the best efforts of many people. So yes, MS Swaminathan is one of the most important Indians in our 5000 year history. We should all be grateful to him. Forever. P:S : The wheat that came in under the PL 480 program had another side effect, apart from being inedible. When planted in our farms, It introduced a weed called Parthenium in our ecology. It still troubles our Farmers. 60 years on. They affectionately call it "Congress Grass" Also, it was not as if Swaminathan was the first to propose food self sufficiency for India Scientists had been pitching since 1954. But the powers at that time, thought it was better to import food than to be self sufficient. Same argument was made for dairy too. Only when Lal Bahadur Shastri came to power he set things in motion that changed India forever. So yes, we should be grateful to him as well
It’s people like Dr. Swaminathan who are truly Bharat’s Ratnas (gems) and he should be awarded the Bharat Ratna. Dr. M S Swaminathan deserves to be honoured posthumously with Bharat Ratna.
PM Modi offered his condolences and mentioned about his interactions with the great man.
I like Twitter because it got me connected briefly with the great man’s niece. A tiny brush with history 🙏🏿.
Om Shanti Sir and Thank You for the green revolution.