'Swaraj' was her birth right. And Sushma had it

(A glowing tribute on the passing away of India's famous former woman Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.)

Being in politics, and that too a woman politician in the otherwise male dominated field, needs immense guts and glory. In the death of Sushma Swaraj, India's late former Minister of External Affairs, 'Swaraj' (freedom/ independence in Hindi) takes on a whole new meaning.

During India's freedom struggle, the famous philosopher and social reformer Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak gave an enlightening slogan: “Freedom is my birth right and I shall have it.” It found expression in the life and times of Sushma Swaraj - as a mother, politician, diplomatic minister, cultural icon, and Twitter 'Savitri'.

The little blue bird of Twitter and her thousands of fans will now miss her chirpy tweets that brought smiles, peals of laughter or great freedom to some Indians in distress.

This now renders her the iconic Twitter 'Savitri' as her tweets reflected sincerity and devotion to her work as a foreign affairs minister, akin to the dedication and sacrifices of India's legendary saint, Savitri.

Only the one who is free can help inspire and bestow freedom in others. As a minister, there were several cases where she personally took deep interest and worked overtime to help Indians facing distress in foreign countries.

She handled tough situations with calm, dignity, and skill. Most of all, she was always ready to serve the Indian public and the republic. As a visible ambassador of India's customs, culture and tradition, her trademark saree, prominent 'bindi' (red vermilion on the forehead), wit and wisdom left an indelible impression on the psyche of the diplomats, governments and civil society around the world.

Two years ago, when my sister noticed her on television shaking hands with many world leaders, she admiringly observed, "Who knows the sarees in her cupboard must be fighting with each other just waiting to adorn her every other day.”

Sushma Swaraj's diplomacy was colourful indeed.

It is noteworthy that she passed away just three days before one of her favorite festivals 'Vara Mahalakshmi Vratha' which falls on August 9. This unique festival is celebrated to honor Goddess Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu from the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Every year on this occasion she would celebrate it with great fervor and devotion. 

However this year on this day, we seek solace that she rests in peace - in swaraj. Because 'Swaraj' was her birth right. And Sushma had it.

Written by: Vidyut Udaiver

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