Union minister Prakash Javadekar and several artistes, including Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi and actor Kangana Ranaut, on Thursday hailed former Union minister Sushma Swaraj for giving industry status to film making and standing up for artistes' rights. At a webinar organised on the first death anniversary of Swaraj, several artists like Joshi, Ranaut, directors Subhash Ghai and Madhur Bhandarkar, devotional singer Anup Jalota and music composer Kuldeep Singh paid rich tributes to Swaraj.
"She was Information and Broadcasting Minister and gave industry status to film-making. So she is still my guide and will always be," Javadekar said.
The BJP lost prominent leaders in the recent past like former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar, he said at at the webinar titled 'Sushmanjali', organised by Nation First Collective along with Sanskar Bharati - Poorvottar and Sanskriti Ganga Nyas. Swaraj's daughter Bansuri hailed her mother's contribution for giving industry status to film making. She said Swaraj worked for public good in whatever role she took up.
Ranaut lauded Swaraj for giving industry status to the film industry as it made it eligible for bank loans. Joshi, a renowned poet, lyricist and the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification, said Swaraj had played an important role in securing the rights of artists when it came to copyright issues. Noted singer Kavita Krishnamurthy also paid tributes to Swaraj with a song.
Swaraj died of a cardiac arrest on this day last year. She was 67. Swaraj was Information and Broadcasting Minister in the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1996 and got the Cabinet portfolio again after he led the BJP to power in 1998.
She was external affairs minister from 2014 to 2019, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014. She was also chief minister of Delhi in 1998.