Mumbai: Her witty remarks on Twitter, tireless efforts for every case that came her way and motherly affection for those reaching out to her - Sushma Swaraj was rightly called a people's leader. After the untimely demise of the former external affairs minister, many whom she gave a second chance at life are remembering her fondly.
One such person is Hamid Ansari, an Indian national who was freed from a Pakistani jail due to efforts of the then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
"I have deep respect for her and she will always stay alive in my heart. She was like a mother to me. After my return from Pakistan, she guided me to look ahead. Her demise is a big loss for me," Ansari lamented.
He was detained and arrested earlier after he went to Pakistan six years ago to meet a woman he had befriended through social media. He returned to India in December last year after completing a three-year prison sentence in a Pakistani jail.
The man was awarded a three-year imprisonment by a military court in December 2015 after being slapped with charges of espionage and involvement in anti-state activities. He reunited with his family at the Attari-Wagah border and had later met Swaraj, along with his mother.
On his safe return home, Ansari had profusely thank Swaraj. "Mera Bharat mahaan, meri madam mahaan, sab madam ne hi kiya hai (My India is great, my madam (Sushma Swaraj) is great, she has done everything)," he had told the then minister.
Sushma Swaraj passed away in New Delhi last night. She was 67. Leaders across party lines have since paid their tributes to the veteran politician.