October 2 – a significant day in India’s history: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, October 2, 2016: Both Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri were born on October 2nd. Gandhiji shaped our freedom movement leading to the birth of a sovereign secular democratic nation. Gandhiji was concerned not only with political freedom but also with economic freedom leading to jobs and food for all. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the author of the slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”, thereby pointing out the critical role of Jawans and Kisans in our economy as well as political freedom. Gandhiji also started the Swedeshi movement of making all our essential commodities within India itself. Shastriji placed emphasis on food security, since food is basic for a productive and healthy life. I may also add that it is Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri who approved the proposal to import 18000 tonnes of seeds of semi-dwarf wheat varieties from Mexico. This helped us to purchase time in our struggle to enhance the productivity of wheat. We recognise today the farsightedness of these great leaders, who showed how to achieve not only political freedom but freedom from hunger and joblessness.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.