India mourns the death of ‘People’s Minister’

Delhi: Sushma Swaraj, astute politician and one of India’s most popular leaders, passed away on Tuesday night after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. Following the death of her news, politicians, actors, sportsmen, business leaders and other eminent personalities took to Twitter to mourn her passing. News of her death brought people across regions and ideologies together in their grief.

Sushma Swaraj’s health had deteriorated in recent months. She decided to discontinue as India’s External Affairs minister in the new Modi cabinet over health issues. Sushma Swaraj was known for being an easily accessible and approachable minister. She was frequently found helping Indians stranded abroad due to passport and visa issues. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called her the People’s Minister in his tribute.

Her Twitter account had 13.1 million followers but was following none. In the last tweet she posted — hours before her untimely death — she congratulated PM Modi for revocation of Article 370. “Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime,” she said. At the time of publishing, the tweet had 229.5k likes and 54.7k retweets.

As the EAM, Swaraj brought played a key role in resolving the Doklam standoff with China in 2017. She had also played a key role in India approaching the International Court of Justice to challenge a Pakistani military court’s death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Swaraj was external affairs minister from 2014 to 2019, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014, and minister for information and broadcasting in Vajpayee government from 2000-2003. She also served as the Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998.