BJP veteran and former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj died of a cardiac arrest at Delhi's AIIMS hospital on Tuesday evening. The 67-year-old, who had a kidney transplant three years ago, had not been keeping well lately.
Sushma Swaraj, a nine-time parliamentarian, will be remembered for her legacy as an easily-accessible foreign minister. She has helped numerous Indians in trouble who reached out to her in the last five years on Twitter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while remembering Sushma Swaraj on Twitter, referenced to her extraordinary response through her term as foreign minister to tweets that sought help from her. "India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader," said PM Modi on Twitter, describing her as "an excellent administrator" and praising her for "her compassionate side, helping fellow Indians who were in distress in any part of the world."
Sushma Swaraj was one of India's most followed politicians on Twitter with over 13 million followers. Her last tweet, just three hours before her death, praised PM Modi for the centre's move on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, had been liked over 150,000 times and retweeted over 37,000 times.
प्रधान मंत्री जी - आपका हार्दिक अभिनन्दन. मैं अपने जीवन में इस दिन को देखने की प्रतीक्षा कर रही थी. @narendramodi ji - Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 6, 2019
Here are the five times when Twitter sat up and took notice of her witty responses tweeted with a pinch of humour.
"Can Follow English Of All Accents"
An Indian man in Malaysia sought Ms Swaraj's help in March to get his friend back from India but his tweet had grammatical errors. After another man asked him to write to the minister in Hindi or Punjabi, Ms Swaraj replied saying: "There is no problem. After becoming Foreign Minister, I have learnt to follow English of all accents and grammar."
There is no problem. After becoming Foreign Minister, I have learnt to follow English of all accents and grammar. https://t.co/2339A1Fea2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 11, 2019
"Doing Chowkidari Of Indian Interests"
Ms Swaraj, who has been the second woman foreign minister after former prime minister Indira Gandhi, tweeted a witty response in March to a user who asked why she was using "Chowkidar" as a prefix for her Twitter handle. "Because I am doing Chowkidari of Indian interests and Indian nationals abroad," she had replied.
Because I am doing Chowkidari of Indian interests and Indian nationals abroad. https://t.co/dCgiBPsagz— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 30, 2019
"Main Bhi Chowkidaar" (I too am a watchman) was a part of BJP's election campaign in response to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's repeated attacks: Chowkidaar chor hai.(The watchman is a thief)
The minister's reply came after she had tweeted that an Indian couple was stabbed in Germany.
Responding to another tweet when a user said that the minister "certainly" wasn't tweeting herself, and it was probably a "some PR guy" who was doing the job for her, she replied: "Rest assured - it's me, not my ghost".
"Even If You Are Stuck On Mars"
Ms Swaraj has always been prompt in replying to distress calls. However, once when a man sought her help and said he was "stuck on Mars", she gave a prompt witty response. "Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you."
Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you. https://t.co/Smg1oXKZXD— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 8, 2017
"Brother, I Cannot Help You In Matters Of Refrigerator"
To another Twitter user who asked if she could help him with a "defective refrigerator", she wrote: "Brother I cannot help you in matters of a Refrigerator. I am very busy with human beings in distress."
Brother I cannot help you in matters of a Refrigerator. I am very busy with human beings in distress. https://t.co/cpC5cWBPcz— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 13, 2016
"Media, Please Avoid The Headline..."
In 2016, when she was not able to attend the swearing-in ceremony of 19 council ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, she gave an advice to the media in a cheeky tweet that read: "Media - Pl avoid the headline : 'Sushma skips Oath Ceremony'."
Media - Pl avoid the headline : 'Sushma skips Oath Ceremony'.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 5, 2016
The council of ministers were sworn in after a cabinet reshuffle.