Teacher remembers Sushma as orator, artiste, statesman

Tributes pour in for former MEA Sushma Swaraj. Her professor remembers the tall leader as a great orator and people's person.

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Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was one of the best orators, a highly talented artiste and had a deep inclination towards public life as a student of Bachelor of Law (LLB), said D.N. Jauhar, her professor at the Law Department of the Panjab University.

Sushma Swaraj was among the first batch of students that Jauhar taught after joining the University Law Department as a 22-year-old in 1970. “I was almost the same age as my students then and therefore had a deep affinity with them. Most of them are still in touch with me,” Jauhar told IANS.

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Sushma Swaraj was known to help Indians abroad in distress. (Photo: Indian Express Archive)

“I learned a lot from Sushma. She was inclined towards public life and it took her to glorious heights,” said Jauhar, who is now retired.

According to Jauhar, who was also in charge of the university’s co-curricular activities, Sushma was an outstanding student, a good orator, and a great artiste. “She used to be a key participant in all cultural activities at the university,” he said.

Recalling his association with Sushma’s husband, Jauhar said: “Swaraj Kaushal was doing LLB as an evening student. They met on the campus, got married in 1975 and settled down in Chandigarh.”

According to Jauhar, Sushma’s entry into politics happened after she came in contact with George Fernandes in 1976 when he was arrested in the so-called Baroda Dynamite case and no one was ready to defend him. She volunteered to fight his case.

“That is right. We defended George Fernandes in the Baroda Dynamite case during Emergency,” Sushma had tweeted on May 28, 2016.

After participating in Jayaprakash Narayan’s anti-Emergency movement, Sushma became a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Jauhar, who was later appointed Vice-Chancellor of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University in Agra (formerly Agra University), said that former Congress Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal was a year senior to Sushma at the Panjab University.

“Pawan Bansal was the first student from the Law Department to join politics after his post-graduation and Sushma was the next,” he said.

Deeply shocked by her sudden demise, Bansal tweeted: “Friends since student days in 1970, we had implicit mutual respect for each other. She was a veritably admirable person, administrator and a parliamentarian par excellence. Countless admirers grieved. RIP.”

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In 1998 she was re-elected to the Lok Sabha before resigning her seat to become the first woman chief minister of Delhi. (Photo: Indian Express Archives)
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Panjab University.

IANS