Tribute to M. S. Swaminathan (1925–2023)
In this issue of the Review of Agrarian Studies, we pay tribute to M. S. Swaminathan, pioneering agricultural scientist, and the world’s greatest institution-builder, policy-maker, and policy expert in the spheres of food, agriculture, and agriculture-related activities. He devoted his life, like no other, to the improvement of the lives of farmers, to farming, and an end to the misery of hunger and undernutrition all over the world.
The contributions to this Tribute illustrate the enormous range of the life and work of M. S. Swaminathan. We have grouped the contributions into four broad sections: Swaminathan’s contribution to Indian agriculture (Himanshu Pathak, C. Rangarajan, R. Ramakumar, R. V. Bhavani, Harish Damodaran, Venkatesh Athreya, A. K. Singh, S. Gopala Krishnan, Ranjith K. Ellur, M. Nagarajan, K. K. Vinod, P. K. Bhowmick, H. Bollinedi, E. A. Siddiq, and V. P. Singh); to science (Bruce Alberts, K. C. Bansal, T. Jayaraman, Kenneth Quinn, Rajeev Varshney, and Rutwik Barmukh); to building collaborations in Asia (Wenbang Tang, Yeyun Xin, Glenn Denning, and Bui Ba Bong); and to rice cultivation and rice economies (Gurdev Singh Khush, Jauhar Ali, Thelma Paris, and Virendra Pal Singh). The contributions also describe Swaminathan’s commitment to the welfare of rural women and youth. Each of the contributors deals with a specific aspect of his work, and all of them write of the special magic of his personality – his humanity and kindness, his humility, and his utter dedication to the tasks he set himself.
For all of us at the Review of Agrarian Studies and Foundation for Agrarian Studies, MSS’s death is a personal loss. MSS was a source of strength for RAS – our first subscriber, a contributor to volume 1, number 1, and an engaged reader of every issue. He inaugurated our new office in Bengaluru, delivered the first Annual Oration of the Foundation for Agrarian Studies, worked in a room at our office when he was in Bengaluru, and left, with every person with whom he worked, that particular and indelible memory of having worked with M. S. Swaminathan.
I am grateful to all our authors for their contributions to this Tribute.