Sushma Swaraj Death: Indian Diaspora Remembers Dynamic Leader and ‘Woman of Grit’Top Stories

August 07, 2019 04:31
Sushma Swaraj Death: Indian Diaspora Remembers Dynamic Leader and ‘Woman of Grit’

(Image source from: iDiva)

The Indian diaspora is pouring in tributes for former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj remembering her as a "caring" and "remarkable" leader.

Swaraj passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Tuesday night after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 67.

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader’s sudden demise triggered a wave of shock and grief among Indians living in Houston, who remembered her as a charismatic and dynamic leader, and a woman of grit.

"She will be remembered for her leadership in opening up the external affairs ministry and consulates across the globe to any Indian who needed help," the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston's founding secretary Jagdip Ahluwalia said.

"I first met her when she was health minister. She attended a rotary immunization event in Delhi and I found her very approachable," he said, adding that she will be always remembered for being a "charismatic and caring minister".

Recalling Swaraj's efforts to get relief for 200 Indian students who were stranded at the University of Houston in floods due to Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Jagdip said it was commendable how involved she got to rescue them with the help of the Consulate General of India, Houston.

Swaraj, as external affairs minister, was known for her prompt response on Twitter to address grievances of overseas Indians.

Padma Shri recipient Subhash Kak, a Regents Professor Emeritus at the Oklahoma State University, said, "I am greatly saddened by Sushma Swaraj's untimely passing. A lady of great grace and ability, she had served for five years as an outstanding external affairs minister."

“It was generally acknowledged that she would have continued to play an important active or advisory role in Indian politics for years to come. The prayers of the entire diaspora are with her,” Kak said.

Celebrity Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna tweeted, “Thank you for letting me cook for you on your every trip to NY. And always blessing me by saying Conquer the World my Son. You were the spirit of Mother India. #RIP.”

“With the passing of Sushma ji, India has lost one of her greatest leaders who was able and capable to build bridges with the outside world. She was a globally recognized champion of human rights and expert in diplomacy," president of the Sewa Houston Chapter Gitesh Desai said.

“Her demise is an incalculable loss to India, her friends all around the globe and to diplomacy. She will be always revered and remembered for her inspirational eloquence in oratory,” the winner of the 2019 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award said.

Swapan Dhairyawan, the president of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, said, “India lost a dynamic, prolific and a vociferous leader in Sushma ji. She represented the best of India and in the global diplomatic circle she was an astute person."

By Sowmya Sangam

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