WION Web Team New Delhi
Aug 07, 2019, 10.23 AM
The country came to a standstill when the news of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's sudden demise made headlines on Tuesday night.
"Iron lady", "affable person", "extraordinary parliamentarian", "prolific orator" were some of the phrases of praise used for Swaraj in her memory by political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Besides her strong personality and her indelible contribution to the growth of the Bharatiya Janata Party and her service to the nation, Swaraj will also be remembered as a soft-spoken person who bore empathy and worked tirelessly.
Many remember her as the most approachable foreign minister, who responded to every distress call addressed to her with utmost urgency and sensitivity - a minister who brought foreign policy to aam admi.
"Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you," Swaraj had tweeted in 2017.
Swaraj's loss leaves behind an irreparable void in the political fabric of the country.
The 67-year-old accepted tough challenges which helped the BJP break new grounds.
Swaraj effectively handled diplomacy during the surgical strikes, aerial strikes and the Doklam stand-off with China. Her efforts to help the diaspora in their hour of need were widely noted and appreciated and she brought the ministry closer to the citizens.
She had friends across the political spectrum and was held in high regard by all leaders of all parties.
Born on February 14, 1952, at Ambala in Haryana to a middle-class family, she studied law from Panjab University Chandigarh, and in 1973 registered as an advocate. She married lawyer Swaraj Kaushal, who later served as governor of Mizoram.
She was active till her last breath, her last tweet came on Tuesday after the Parliament passed the bill to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir and resolution to repeal Article 370.
Sushma Swaraj: BJP's most prominent woman face passes away at 67
"Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime," she tweeted hours before she passed away, exhibiting that the nation and her government were on her mind till her last breath.
Swaraj was rushed to AIIMS, Delhi after suffering a cardiac arrest on Tuesday evening. She breathed her last after doctors failed to revive her after trying for over an hour.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid their tributes to Swaraj at her residence in Delhi.
Swaraj's mortal remains will be taken to the BJP headquarters later in the day. Her rites will take place after 3 pm, she will be cremated with full state honours.
Many remember her as the most approachable foreign minister, who responded to every distress call addressed to her with utmost urgency and sensitivity.