A day before late Sushma Swaraj’s birthday, Nirmala Sitharaman walks in her footsteps

  • The Finance Minister took over Twitter to help a commoner yesterday, following late external affairs minister footsteps.
  • Indian government renamed two foreign policy institutions after Sushma Swaraj.
Few failed to remember the late foreign minister Sushma Swaraj on her birthday - as the minister who is ever ready to extend a helping hand to Indians across the world. For a nation that is confused with the new ‘simple’ Income Tax amendments, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is trying to do the same.

Yesterday, after a Twitter user sought Sitharaman’s help for his MSME firm. The user said, “Madam, Central Bank of India is not releasing our home documents, even though we had paid our loan 4 months back.”

The Finance Minister replied from her personal Twitter handle saying, “Sorry to know. Will have @FinMinIndia get back to you.”

The tweet received 7600 likes and 1200 retweets. Tweeps appreciated the gesture and claimed that she is the kind of Finance Minister India needs. And, many compared her to Swaraj - who passed away in August 2019 due to a cardiac arrest.

Swaraj was better known as a ‘saviour’ for Indians lost on foreign lands. She was one of the most accessible ministers and proactively helped Indians who contacted her on social media platforms like Twitter.

Kulbhushan Jadhav's family meet former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, in New Delhi.Photo)(

Be it an Indian man in Washington who had lost his passport just days before he was to travel for his wedding; or another in distress in Saudi Arabia - all have benefited from her prompt action.

The late minister’s husband Swaraj Kaushal took over Twitter to say “Happy birthday! @SushmaSwaraj - the joy of our lives,” with a picture of Swaraj sitting with a cake in front.

On the eve of her birthday, the government too decided to rename the two prestigious foreign policy institutes after her.

“In a solemn tribute to the invaluable contribution of former External Affairs Minister late Smt. Sushma Swaraj to Indian diplomacy, the cause of the Indian diaspora and the ethos of public service, it has been decided to rename the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi as Sushma Swaraj Bhawan and Foreign Service Institute also in New Delhi, as Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service,” the External Affairs Ministry said.

Yet, the many Indians who received her timely help and the many more who were following her would ever forget her - with or without her name being institutionalised.

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