The sad demise of Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj has done an irreparable damage to the right-wing intelligentsia and to the nation at large. The debates would continue but some of the most learned and experienced voices won’t be heard anymore. History will remember them as the foremost voice in parliament that wreaked havoc on their political opponents and rocked the floor of the parliament with their speeches. The dance of democracy could never be imagined without these two voices.
Very few parliamentarians know the essence and effect of the words conveyed through the floor of the parliament. Sushma Ji and Jaitley Ji were amongst those giants who set the narrative straight in the country via a speech in the parliament. The sanctity and eminence of the parliament were reaffirmed after their speeches. Only an astute and well-read politician has this ability. This is the first lesson one can learn from the life of Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.
The delicacy and decency of their argument won over people from the other side of the spectrum. It happens not just because of fancy arguments but a lot had to do with the character and principles that they possessed. Be it helping the Congress in drafting the Nuclear Liability Bill to making sure that all his lower-ranked staffs children studied in the same school as his children, Arun Jaitley was an institution of decorum in himself. The same goes for Sushma Swaraj who invited even the worst of her critics in the meetings held for national importance. This is the most important lesson to be learnt from the life of these two greats.
The uncompromising approach on issues of national importance and invoking nationalism on the floor of the parliament, they gave voice to millions who just felt but could not articulate their love for the nation. They were the face of 1.2 billion people in the parliament in adverse times. Creating upheaval while putting their point across as the opposition, they made sure that government bows down to the will of the nation. The third lesson.
They continued this as ministers in the previous government. There relentless service and instant response as ministers changed the very concept of governance which was till then hijacked by elitism. From the GST to the IBC, Jaitley’s legacy is indisputably amazing. From 77 passport offices in 70 years to 550 in 5 years, the foreign ministry under Sushma Swaraj was amongst the most loved ministry by the masses.
This transition from being the leader of the opposition to the leader of the nation (in their domains) was a bit tedious but smooth. This transition in itself is a journey to be learnt from.
Lastly, they were among the few politicians who enjoyed a good rapport with the media. They never shied away from difficult questions and gave elaborative and convincing reply whenever they were on screen. They were the politicians with a huge fan base amongst media persons. The media enjoyed talking to them and listening to their arguments.
They are no more but they have left a legacy to be cherished. If Narendra Modi says this is the new India, then Jaitley and Swaraj were the ones who sowed seeds of this new India. There is a lot to write and talk but for now, I think we should all think about how we can have more Arun Jaitleys and Sushma Swarajs in our parliament. We must focus on how we can achieve that calibre of our life so that it becomes an inspiration for generations to come.