As India bid farewell to Sushma Swaraj, former Foreign Minister and veteran of the ruling BJP, Twitter remembered the compassionate and accessible leader who won huge respect across party lines for helping Indians need through social media.
One of her old tweets that swelled in popularity a day after the 67-year-old died at Delhi's AIIMS hospital following a cardiac arrest was this:
Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you. https://t.co/Smg1oXKZXD— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 8, 2017
Sushma Swaraj had posted the tweet in response to a Twitter user reaching out to her jest, asking to be rescued from Mars.
A tall leader and a doer #sushmaswaraj .. never met her but feel saddened by her passing away .. an end of a chapter where Indians across the world felt there is someone looking after them .. #RIPSushmaswaraj .. Om Shanti ???????? pic.twitter.com/5IQiRh6DOj— Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) August 6, 2019
Among the most active Indian leaders on social media, she had a huge following on Twitter and leaves behind a legacy of an easily-accessible minister who helped Indians abroad in distress with her quick responses to requests for help.
Known for her helpful interventions, she became a beacon of hope for thousands - from Indians stranded in conflict zones to foreigners requesting urgent visas for medical treatment.
Even while she was unwell and underwent a kidney transplant in 2016, she was responding to people's SOS messages - like that of a Twitter user from London seeking help in renewing his visa because of a medical emergency.
While tensions grew with Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj kept helping citizens from the country who needed visas for treatment in India.
When new Foreign Minister S Jaishankar took over from her in May this year, he wrote how he was "proud to follow on the footsteps of Sushma Swaraj".
Sushma Swaraj was cremated with state honours this afternoon in the presence of top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP patriarch LK Advani among others. Her body was kept at the BJP headquarters for party workers and leaders to pay tributes and then moved to the Lodhi Crematorium where all top leaders paid their respects.
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