Swaraj Had Many Firsts To Her Credit
Hours before Sushma Swaraj’s fatal cardiac arrest, she had expressed happiness: ‘I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime’: by her final tweet was on removal of special status Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir. Swaraj was not only a powerful orator, both in English and Hindi, people’s minister, but also a ‘caring mom’ and “remarkable” leader. Swaraj had many firsts to her credit such as being the youngest (25) cabinet minister in the Haryana Devilal government, the first woman spokesperson for a national political party in the country and first woman chief minister of Delhi. Shockingly, Delhi lost three former chief ministers in less than a year. Last October Madan Lal Khurana (82), Sheila Dikshit (81) in July and now Sushma Swaraj (67). A four-time member of Lok Sabha and three-time of Rajya Sabha, A lawyer by training, Swaraj did not contest in 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing her bad health. She always ready to accept tough challenges which helped. She contested the 1999 Lok Sabha election from Bellary in Karnataka against then Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s electoral debut in what was billed as a ‘videshi bahu’ versus ‘bharatiya nari’ contest. While Swaraj lost that election, with less margin of the Congress. But Swaraj had once again shown her nationality against Sonia Gandhi in 2004,when Swaraj had threatened to don a white saree, shave off her head, sleep on the floor and eat only chickpeas if Sonia Gandhi became Prime Minister. But this political difference did repair their relationship between 2009 and 14.
Bidyut Kumar C Faridabad
India’s Quick Response To China
Close on the heels of bifurcation of J&K in to two Union Territories, China came out with a weird and provoking statement that converting Ladakh into a Union Territory was unacceptable to them and urged New Delhi to avoid ‘unilateral actions’ in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese hypocrisy is well evident as they don’t see the simmering protests against them (Chinese government) going on in Hong Kong for nine weeks now. Intriguingly, the Chinese government, without taking the plank out of their own eye, is hurrying to remove the speck from our eye. China opposes India for putting Chinese territory in the western section of the border under its administration, which affects China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. However, India’s response was quick and sharp saying J & K reorganisation was purely an internal matter concerning the territory of India. It may be noted that China has kept the border with Ladakh ‘live’, particularly in recent years, resulting in on-and-off needling along this sector of the 4,057 km Line of Actual control that stretches from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. In an apparent retaliation to the Indian government’s move to bifurcate J&K, China has refused to grant visas to a group of Indian pilgrims who were to proceed to Tibet for the Kailash Manasarovar yatra on Wednesday.
T K NANDANAN, KOCHI
Sushma Swaraj’s Long Political Career
Sushma Swaraj’s untimely demise has led to an outpour of emotions on social media as members of the sports fraternity expressed shock and grief and recalled the moments when they got to interact with her. India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor. She was a source of inspiration for crores of people. As external affairs minister Sushma proved the sky’s the limit. Helped countless Indians in distress and continued doing so even from her hospital bed. A long time BJP hand, she is considered to one of the “next generation” leaders who rose to further prominence following party trailblazer Pramod Mahajan’s death. She had worked tirelessly at India’s external affairs ministry. In a political career spanning over 50yrs, she touched a billion hearts with her strength, grace and compassion. She was an excellent administrator and was the shining star of BJP. She had her the sense of humility, kindness and was a warm-hearted person, a passionate leader, an excellent orator and a true stateswoman who chose to work day in and out for the progress of the nation. She was admired and respected across party lines. If we look at her political career graph , she was a manifestation of her role in Indian politics. She held key positions both as a member of the ruling party and as that of opposition. She was a role model for many such young women who aspire to tread the path of Indian politics. In 1996, during the thirteen-day government under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee, she took a revolutionary step of live telecasting of Lok Sabha debates as the union cabinet minister for Information and Broadcasting. Many protests against the government of Indira Gandhi were organised by Sushma Swaraj. She is an exceptional speaker and campaigner, who, after joining the Janata Party, got actively involved in campaigning against the Emergency. Her quest in Indian politics saw her as the first woman chief minister of Delhi.
and later as the first woman Leader of Opposition. She became the state president of Janata Party in Haryana at an early age of 27 years. She will be remembered as one of the most endearing and helpful politicians of recent times and more for her excellent communication skill in the decades to come.
Vinod C Dixit, Ahmedabad