Whenever she stood up to speak, the house listened, for her poised nature and sincerity reflected constantly in her persona and work.

There are politicians and then there are leaders, furthermore leaders of not a particular stream but people’s leader. India lost a gem, the last night when Sushma Swaraj took her last breath in AIIMS Delhi. The news, as it came out in late night, of her death engulfed entire nation into extensive pain and shock. Feel of grief and anguish took over her admirers, colleagues and followers cutting through party lines and throughout the country and abroad as well, for her ingenious, kind and emphatic stances all along her public life earned her a reputation of being a common citizens’ leader.

 

Sushma Swaraj suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest, though she was already unwell from quite some time. The kidney transplant through which she had to go in December 2016 disallowed her to continue working as hard as she had been doing through all these years, and subsequently this transpired into her decision to not to contest parliamentary elections in 2019 and then her refusal to join government as a cabinet minister, though she was excellent in her last tenure (2014-2019) as cabinet minister and received appreciations from all corners of society.

 

The unending love that she received from masses, is in itself a milestone, for being a full time, prominent and always under lights politician and that too for a female, it is never just another general affair to maintain a public image free of any major controversy. However, it has to be noted that affection showered upon her by people was just a reciprocation of the way she loved them and throughout her life in most tremendous ways.

 

As the headline of this article reads, Sushma Swaraj worked hard and with full commitment throughout her political life of 41 long years. After her participation in student politics in early 70s and then a stint as lawyer, she joined full-fledged representational democracy in 1977 and never looked back; she evolved& worked on ground— with people, for people. For years, as a legislator, she remained a prominent face of opposition in parliament even when her party faced humiliation in elections or ruling party enjoyed brute majority.

 

Whenever she stood up to speak, the house listened. Mrs. Swaraj’s oratory skills were par-excellence and most of her speeches included issues and problems that common citizens faced. Her poised nature and sincerity reflected in her persona and work. In her recent tenure as Cabinet Minister (MEA), opposition asked to move a motion that demanded her resignation for some alleged wrongdoing, but speaker declined to entertain any such motion, Minister herself insisted to allow motion, allow the house to discuss it and then clarify— after full clarification motion was dropped.                

 

When Sushma Swaraj decided to leave election run this time, her husband Swaraj Kaushal wrote a poignant message in affirmation to her decision to stay back and need to spend time with each other but no one imagined she’d leave us so early.

 

As a seasoned politician, she spent a lot of time in handling many portfolios in government and played her part in functioning of many parliamentary committees. But her last tenure in government brought to her so much reverence of Indian nationals residing in India and abroad, for she made an effective use of social media, in particular Twitter, in handing people to government queries on a personal basis for citizens travelling all around the globe, and directed almost each time Indian diplomats in any part of world to provide best possible assistance. Her humanitarian stance of allowing Pakistani citizens a visa to travel India even in most tense situation at border on health grounds says of the substance she consisted of.    

 

India will forever be thankful for her services to nation and the way she served, for it will keep reminding us to be emphatic and clean while serving our people. We will always cherish her memories— when she assured citizens that even if they are stuck on Mars, Indian embassy will help them. She was proud Indian, and yes she flew high flights.

 

Deep condolences to her family and admirers, may the departed soul rest in peace!