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Press Release on the sad demise of Sushma Swaraj, Former Minister of External Affairs

The Nation has lost a great Indian in the passing away of Sushma Swaraj. She was a very able administrator, a versatile leader and was effective in every assignment given to her.

I met her already when she was Health Minister in the Vajpayee Government. From the interactions I had with her, I sensed that she brought a human touch to all decisions of the Ministry. As Foreign Minister, she was our best Ambassador and projected a great image of the country in international circles. All Indians abroad who were in any difficulty found in her a sympathetic Minister who went out of her way to help them. I recall with gratitude her interest and assistance for the release of the Salesian, Fr Tom Uzhunnalil who was kept in captivity in Yemen for over a year.

Sushma Swaraj (then Minister of External Affairs) with Pope Francis in September 2016

Sushma Swaraj lead the Government delegation for the Canonization of Mother Teresa. She had a special devotion for Mother. She met Pope Francis on that occasion and the Holy Father later remarked later “The Indian Foreign Minister is a very spiritual person”.

Our condolences to the family and to the party, to both of which she was very dedicated.

May God grant her eternal rest.

Oswald Cardinal Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay

& President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India

August 7, 2019


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