When Norman Borlaug, one of many world scientists who contributed to increased foodgrain manufacturing, acquired the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work on agriculture in India, he devoted it to MS Swaminathan.
In a letter to the architect of Indian inexperienced revolution – who handed away in Chennai on Thursday owing to age-related sickness, Borlaug wrote: “To you, Dr Swaminathan an excessive amount of credit score should go for recognising the worth of Mexican dwarfs (wheat seedlings). Had this not occurred, it’s fairly attainable that there wouldn’t have been a inexperienced revolution in Asia.”
Termed as “Father of Inexperienced Revolution”, Swaminathan turned India right into a self-sufficient nation in foodgrain manufacturing from being an importer.
Till 1964, it relied on the US wheat support underneath Public Regulation (PL) 480 settlement. Some critics mentioned the wheat despatched to India by the US was “match sufficient just for pigs!”. C Subramaniam, who turned the meals and agriculture minister after India turned down US foodgrain support, wager large on science and know-how.
And the Man Friday for him was MS Swaminathan! In a tribute on his ninetieth birthday, the then World Meals Prize Basis President Kenneth M Quinn mentioned: “No different individual was as instantly concerned in bringing each the Inexperienced Revolution to India after which spreading it all through South-East Asia as Dr Swaminathan.”
Deservingly, Swaminathan was the First World Meals Prize winner in 1987 and Borlaug, who the world meals prize laureate met in 1953, was the one who instituted the award.
Impression of poor farmer
Swaminathan, in affiliation with Borlaug, was instrumental in spreading high-yielding wheat and rice varieties in India, serving to India to take up the problem thrown by the rejection of US meals support.
They improved agricultural practices amongst poorest farmers within the nation that demonstrated “braveness and risk-taking in difficult” the political institution then.
Quinn data that Swaminathan recognised the effectiveness of Borlaug’s new dwarf wheat varieties and requested for assist to counter India’s looming famine. Borlaug travelled with the laureate for 3 weeks in North India’s wheat belt. That was the start of India’s Inexperienced Revolution with wheat main the way in which.
The person who led the Inexperienced Revolution insisted that the demonstration of the brand new varieties be held on the fields of poor farmers. His reasoning: “When a poor farmer produces extra, it has an amazing influence”.
‘Scientist of uncommon distinction’
When Swaminathan was conferred with the World Meals Prize, Javier Perez de Cuellar, then UN Secretary-Common, mentioned: “(He) is a residing legend. His contributions to agricultural science have made an indelible mark on meals manufacturing in India and elsewhere within the creating world. By any requirements, he’ll go into the annals of historical past as a world scientist of uncommon distinction.”
The architect of the Indian inexperienced revolution performed one other vital position within the lives of farmers when he headed a committee that really useful that the minimal assist value for farmers needs to be 50 per cent of weighted common value of manufacturing.
It was submitted in 2006 however took one other 8 years to be carried out. The best way his system has been carried out continues to be controversial, although.
The famend scientist labored tirelessly no less than a month earlier than his dying. Aside from different obligations, Swaminathan served because the Chairman of the Authorities’s Nationwide Fee on Farmers, President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Chairman of the Excessive-Degree Panel of Specialists (HLPE) of the World Committee on Meals Safety (CFS). He was additionally a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Grounded in humbleness
The Father of Inexperienced Revolution was most wanted wherever he went, however whoever got here throughout him praised his humbleness.
“I’ve met him a number of occasions. And have come away every time with a deeper respect for him. I’ve identified him to be one of the vital humble scientists with no airs about him,” is the overall touch upon the architect of the inexperienced revolution.
Swaminathan, who would have turned hundred on August 7, 2025, is a product of the Coimbatore Agricultural School, now Tamil Nadu Agricultural College, and went on to turn out to be a analysis affiliate on the College of Wisconsin. As a analysis affiliate, he developed the “Alaska Frostless” potato.
After becoming a member of the Indian Agricultural Analysis Institute in 1954, he turned a rice and wheat geneticist. He additionally served because the Director-Common of Indian Council of Agricultural Analysis throughout 1972-1979.
A sworn statement to the truth that Swaminathan is revered overseas is without doubt one of the largest inventive depictions of any citizen of India within the US in Des Moines, Iowa. Standing over 10‐toes in peak, the murals of the famend agri scientist is a colourful mural comprising over 250,000 particular person items of glass.
Because the world of agriculture grieves the lack of the “Akashya Patram” (inexhaustible vessel), there’s a part which feels that Swaminathan deserves a Bharat Ratna.