Medical Visa to Pakistanis, Tracking Lost Dutch Nationals: Sushma Swaraj's 'Twitter Diplomacy' Was Spot On
One of the most active accounts on Twitter, she became the person people reached out to in terms of distress. 'Help was a tweet away,' became literal.
File photo of Sushma Swaraj.
Sushma Swaraj's demise late on Tuesday night has brought in a wave of sadness and condolences from people all over the world.
Swaraj, who was the former External affairs minister for the Modi cabinet from 2014-2019, was known for having brought a rare empathy and a human approach to India's diplomacy, passed away after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.
But apart from being a minister, she also became a point-of-contact for people to reach out when they needed help. One of the most active accounts on Twitter, she became the person people reached out to in terms of distress. 'Help was a tweet away,' became literal.
From helping out stranded Indian citizens, helping people facing Visa issues, and helping missing nationals of other countries in India, Swaraj's Twitter diplomacy stood out. She became the most loved, millennial minister on the Internet.
Her Twitter diplomacy has seen a lot of examples.
In 2017, she won hearts when she announced a medical visa for one-year-old Pakistani girl to have heart surgery in India.
We are giving visa for the open heart surgery of your one year old daughter Shireen Shiraz in India. https://t.co/Jx0h5GI0qN— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) October 10, 2017
Sushma Swaraj also brought home Hamid Ansari, who was jailed in Pakistan. On his return, she personally went to meet him.
Govts may change, the cabinet may change, but Sushma Swaraj will go down as the most likeable cabinet ministers India has ever had. Hamid Ansari came back from a Pakistani Jail, he & his mother met Sushma ji on his return. Watch. I choked. pic.twitter.com/TVwqUC2Rxe— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) May 30, 2019
In 2015, she also helped the release of 168 Indians trapped in Basra, Iran.
She also helped an Indian national who lost her wallet and passport in Berlin and asked the Minister for help.
@Agratha Thanks. Our embassy in Berlin will contact you on this number.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) May 4, 2015
She also helped a man stuck in Doha airport, and facilitated his return to India. 'Welcome home, Ankit,' she tweeted after.
She also helped track down a Dutch national's plea, who lost her sister in Rishikesh. Swaraj sent her team of officers to help find the missing girl.
My officers have located the missing Dutch girl Sabine Harmes. pic.twitter.com/cnh43a26Xg /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 29, 2016
And she also helped an Indian national who lost his passport at 'a very unfortunate time.'
Devatha Ravi Teja - You have lost your Passport at a very wrong time. However, we will help you reach for your wedding in time. Navtej - Let us help him on humanitarian grounds. @IndianEmbassyUS https://t.co/wxaydeqCOX— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 30, 2018
And also a distressed wife, who didn't get a visa.
She also helped a Hindu-Muslim couple in 2018, who faced discrimination at the hands of the passport officer.
When Sushma Swaraj left the cabinet, people shared how they were going to miss her. Through active use of her Twitter, she became a face and a person and brought a previously unknown human aspect to the Ministry of External Affairs.
As a Twitter user pointed out, 'Governments may change, the cabinet may change, but Sushma Swaraj will go down as the most likeable cabinet ministers India has ever had.'
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