Sushma Swaraj, The ‘Human Face’ Of Diplomacy, Will Always Have A Special Space In Our Hearts

Posted: August 7, 2019

Former External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passed away yesterday at an age of 67. She is one political leader who will always be remembered for being ever awesome! 

Yesterday Indian political system lost one of the most humble and one of a kind political leader, Sushma Swaraj.

Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who brought the elements of empathy and a human approach to India’s diplomacy, passed away on Tuesday night after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. She was taken to the emergency ward of AIIMS at 9:30 due to a critical heart attack, and passed away soon after.

“A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end. India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor. Sushma Swaraj Ji was one of her kind, who was a source of inspiration for crores of people” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

A humanitarian leader

Since the time Ms. Swaraj was appointed as the External Affairs Minister in the Modi Cabinet 1.0 she has been in news for being a leader of ‘humanity’. During her term, she became an online phenomenon; social scientists called her use of social media to help people as ‘digital diplomacy’, i.e., the use of technological interventions to further diplomatic concerns for a state.

Since she became the External Affair Minister, she had taken up twitter as a medium to connect with voters, Indians living overseas and even persons from other nationalities, most famously, Pakistanis.

From being tagged as ‘supermom’ of India by Washington Post to becoming the most followed female leader in the world on Twitter, (with over 6 million followers, according to a survey conducted by Burson-Marsteller.), sh had struck a chord in every heart with her efforts. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi correctly remarked, she was the ‘human face’ of diplomacy.

Baby Lily

In 2016 she came into news for taking up the case of a British couple in Mumbai to the British High Commission. The couple had a baby that May through surrogacy in India, and faced the prospect of leaving her in an orphanage as they have not been able to procure a passport for her.

A callout for help had her lending a hand, readily.

Providing everyone with the aid

One of the major cases of achievement during her tenure has been the case of Pakistani girl Shireen Shiraz where she decided to grant a year-long medical visa to her for open-heart surgery.

She helped two more Pakistani nationals the same year by granting them medical visas for carrying out liver surgeries in India.

Not just this In 2015, she helped out a Yemeni woman who was married to an Indian. The woman had tweeted an image of her 8-month old baby and made a plea for evacuation from the conflicted area.

In 2016, she helped out an Indian man to rescue his brother who had been stuck at Doha airport.

She also responded to Dutch national Suzanne Lugano’s pleas on Facebook to help her locate her sister who was lost in Rishikesh. In 2018, Swaraj helped out a man who had been stuck in the USA without a passport and was due to return home for his wedding in a few days.

Rescue mission

During her term, her ministry rescued 168 Indians who were held hostage in Basra, Iraq. They also rescued 4,640 Indians from Yemen during the Yemeni Crisis in 2015. The Indian Armed Forces and the Ministry of External Affairs also rescued 960 foreign nationals from crises.

Ms. Swaraj was indeed one of the leaders known for her hard-working nature, quick actions, and fast responses. She was indeed the true ‘saviour’ who through the use of technology has tried to respond to concerns of foreign nationalists. She was one of those leaders who was not just praised by her government but also by the opposition leaders.

Sushma Ji will indeed be one of the leaders who’ll always have a special place in our hearts. She will be the one leader who’ll always be remembered. Rest In Peace Sushma Ji

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