Published On : Thu, Jan 29th, 2015

LOST – Sushma Swaraj India’s External Affairs Minister

New Delhi/Nagpur: Historically, being India’s External Affairs Minister is considered a top job, even being ranked  second most important, but in any case among the top five. But so completely has the Prime Minister abrogated to himself that role, poor Sushma is nowhere to be seen or found.

In fact ever since Swaraj took the job, it has lost all importance. Swaraj is a minister in absentia. She has literally disappeared, neither seen nor heard from. Especially during the Obama – Michelle visit. Since Mrs. Modi is similarly invisible, according to protocol it was expected that Sushma Swaraj would be escorting Michelle around Delhi. But this did not happen and Michelle was left to twiddle her thumbs alone in the grand Delhi Hotel.

The situation is so ironical.If there is one area where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been phenomenally active, it is in foreign policy visiting nations as small as Bhutan, where he charmed the king, to countries as large as the US, where non-resident Indians, mostly Gujarathis, behaved like teenagers at a rock concert.He has met the leaders of China and Japan, and invited Barack Obama to be chief guest at India’s military fest, the Republic Day parade. All this is headline making stuff.

But what is missing in all these sojourns near and far is the actual external affairs minister. So complete is Modi’s takeover of the foreign ministry, that Swaraj today is less important than a minister of state for secularism in Modi’s government! She clearly has nothing to do. And everyone knows that.

Under such circumstances, it is easy to understand why Swaraj feels slighted. Delhi insiders have for long been claiming that she is unhappy and feels trapped.

Is it the price she is playing for obviously belonging to the Advani camp?

Whatever the reason may be this is a really tragic situation for Sushma Swaraj who at one time was considered one of the BJP front runners for even the Prime Minister’s post. Remember how assiduously she played the anti-Gandhi card even promising to ‘shave off her hair and sleeping on the ground’ if Sonia Gandhi became Prime Minister of India?

Looks like she had worse in store for her when Sonia chose NOT to be PM and ultimately Modi won that race. Sushma is lost in ignonimity  despite being hypothetically ‘very important’. Kitne pass phir bhi kitne door?