How Sushma Swaraj 'Rescued' Indians With Her Sense of Humour and Epic Twitter Comebacks
Swaraj's quick wit and humour on social media earned her the informal title of being a 'Twitter Minister'.
File image of Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj / News18 Hindi.
Sushma Swaraj is no more.
The former External Affairs Minister of India passed away on Tuesday night after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. She was 67.
Swaraj was perhaps the most-approachable politician Indian government ever had. A woman of many firsts, Swaraj's empathy towards fellow Indians struck a chord with young and old alike with her round-the-clock social media presence. Her eagerness to assist the distressed made her one of the most-followed politicians around the globe. She wasn't just a cabinet minister, she was an online star.
Passport or visa woes? Tweet to Swaraj. Stranded on foreign land? Tweet to Swaraj. Stuck alone on a honeymoon? Tweet to Swaraj. Refrigerator isn't working? Tweet to Swaraj.
While Swaraj didn't shy away from resolving big and "small" issues that concerned her countrymen and women, it was her ready wit and sense of humour that separated her from the rest, something that was appreciated by her followers and admirers on social media and outside.
We have listed a few instances when Sushma Swaraj's light-hearted banters and funny side lit up Twitter.
#1 When a man was "stuck" on Mars
A couple of years ago, a Twitter user had reached out to the then foreign minister narrating about how he was stuck on Mars and inquired her about Mangalyaan 2 (Mars Orbiter Mission 2, set to take off in 2024) mission and its launch date that would in turn provide him with food supplies to survive on the Red Planet.
This was Swaraj's response.
Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you. https://t.co/Smg1oXKZXD— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 8, 2017
#2 Malfunctioning refrigerator
A desperate man with a broken fridge during the harsh Indian summers of 2016 chose the "Twitter Minister" to complain about his faulty Samsung refrigerator. Not only did he tag Swaraj, Ram Vilas Paswan too found a mention in his unusual appeal.
"Samsung REFRIGERATOR (RT28K3922RZ/HL), bearing serial # (03E04PAH201870M). @Samsung_IN is forcing me go for repair," the man tweeted along with the fridge's serial number is all seriousness.
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
#3 When the minister "skipped" cabinet reshuffle meeting but made her presence felt anyway
Swaraj, in 2016, was unable to attend the swearing-in of ministers since she had to meet with the Foreign Minister of Hungary. The articulate minister took subtle dig at media.
Media - Pl avoid the headline : 'Sushma skips Oath Ceremony'.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 5, 2016
.....and so are the headlines.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 5, 2016
#4 What do you do when you have a broken car? Tweet to the minister, of coure
Back in 2016, Twitter user @babuenterprises took to the microblogging site and informed Swaraj about the problems he was facing with his brand new Volkswagen Jetta car.
While Swaraj couldn't help the man, she did provide him with an alternative.
I am so sorry. Please take your Car to a workshop. https://t.co/J9fFlTyTYh @babuenterprises— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 9, 2016
#5 Uniting separated couples like a boss
@SushmaSwaraj , Namaste Madamji, Myself & my wife selected for kailash Manas Sarovar Yatra 2018, in different batches. My wife will not be able to undertake the yatra alone. KMYS00125518 & KMYS00124418. Seek your help to put us in the same batch. I will be 70 by next year.— chandar nandi (@chandarnandi) May 13, 2018
The computer is guilty of separating you. But don't worry. We will send you both in the same batch. https://t.co/ygBoGH1Lux— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) May 13, 2018
#6 When a woman wished Sushma Swaraj had a son
Sushma Swaraj is so damn cute :) I wish she had a son...I would have left the whole world for his mom :P— Neha Gupta (@ne_hah) August 9, 2016
She was as amused as the rest of us.
This is interesting. https://t.co/ehFYGmiEgb— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 9, 2016
#7 Coming to the rescue of Indians, one tweet at a time
Twitter user Gavy, a resident of Punjab, was mocked over his "broken" English when he appealed to Swaraj to bring his unwell friend back from Malaysia.
He wrote, “I'm from India in Punjab but I'm now in Malaysia here one my friend mental I want send go back to India, but immigration say we are cannot help you first here treatment your friend after can I send India your friend can you ask immigration (sic).”
bhai hindi ya punjabi me hi likh deta..— Sourabh Das (@sourabhdas111) March 11, 2019
Taking none of the online schooling the distraught man went through, Swaraj hit back politely.
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
#8 Wedding delayed due to visa issues? Don't worry, Swaraj was there
Upset with visa woes hindering her wedding ceremonies, Twitter user @kianiistarr knocked on the doors of Swaraj.
"My poor sasuraal wale, mother in law and father in law have had to postpone the wedding festivities more than once in waiting for my visa to be issues. Please help this is their only son. They are looking fwd to the festivities (sic)," she had tweeted.
@SushmaSwaraj my poor sasuraal wale, mother in law and father in law have had to postpone the wedding festivities more than once in waiting for my visa to be issues. Please help this is their only son. They are looking fwd to the festivities @MEAIndia @IndiainNewYork @MEAQuery— princesskiani (@kianiistarr) April 2, 2019
Unsuprisingly, the foreign minister didn't disappoint.
Oh !............... I can help your Sasuraal Walas with Indian Visa so that they don't have to postpone the wedding any further. https://t.co/JxTuD7Anku— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 3, 2019
#9 Serving burns online was her forte
You are much more humorous than Rahul Gandhi 😂😂— MDH Wale Kaka (IMMORTAL) (@trolling_daddy) April 3, 2019
Then I should stop being humorous. https://t.co/9wC3lsbo7Y— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 3, 2019
#10 Is Bali safe? When Sushma Swaraj "consulted" a volcano
A man planning a trip to Bali wanted to know if travelling to the tourist destination was safe from natural calamities.
“is it safe to travel bali. We have a bali trip on 11.08.18 to 17.08.18. Is it safe? Is their ny advisory has been issued by our govt. Kindly guide us soon (sic).”
I will have to consult the volcano there. https://t.co/bv2atzWtZg— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 8, 2018
#11 When "Chowkidar" Sushma Swaraj was asked who was running her Twitter account
"Certainly it's not Sushma Swaraj who is doing this tweets. Some PR guy is doing his/her duty for what they being paid for !!," Twitter user @samitpadhy had tweeted.
Swaraj responded in a lighter vein, saying, "Rest assured - it's me, not my ghost."
Certainly it’s not Sushma Swaraj who is doing this tweets. Some PR guy is doing his / her duty for what they being paid for !!— Samit (@samitpadhy) March 31, 2019
Rest assured - it's me, not my ghost. https://t.co/qxCeKUJ0uJ— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 31, 2019
And when she was questioned over her "Chowkidar" username on Twitter, she replied with tongue-in-cheek humour, "Because I am doing Chowkidari of Indian interests and Indian nationals abroad.
Because I am doing Chowkidari of Indian interests and Indian nationals abroad. https://t.co/dCgiBPsagz— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 30, 2019
#12 Online trolls didn't dampen her high spirits
"Aap ki bhi boht yaad ayegi ek din #SheilaDixit Ji ki tarah Amma (you will be missed one day just like Sheila Dikshit)," a troll responded to Swaraj's tweet mourning the demise of former BJP president Mange Ram Garg.
"I thank you in anticipation for this kind thought," the unfazed minister quipped.
Is bhawana ke liye apko mera agrim dhanyawad.I thank you in anticipation for this kind thought. https://t.co/pbuW6R6gcE— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 21, 2019
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