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Ode to Sushma Swaraj’s oratory: The ‘96 speech' that took Lok Sabha, and India, by storm

People currently in their late 20s or early 30s are probably too young to remember what can be called 'golden period' of Sushma Swaraj's oratory -- right from the Vajpayee regime. To this generation, Sushma Swaraj was known more as a genial smiling face who worked in tandem with the senior leadership. The millennial generation admired her, no doubt. The generation appreciated her vibrant presence on Twitter and her readiness with which she helped Indians who requested her help on Twitter.

Manas Joshi Manas Joshi
New Delhi Updated on: August 07, 2019 16:39 IST
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Image Source : PTI

Late Sushma Swaraj

People currently in their late 20s or early 30s are probably too young to remember what can be called 'golden period' of Sushma Swaraj's oratory -- right from the Vajpayee regime. To this generation, Sushma Swaraj was known more as a genial smiling face who worked in tandem with the senior leadership.

 
The millennial generation admired her, no doubt. The generation appreciated her vibrant presence on Twitter and her readiness with which she helped Indians who requested her help on Twitter.
 
But go back a few decades – to June 11, 1996 -- and you meet a fiery speaker who not only held her own but withstood legions of rival MPs hell-bent on interrupting her speech in the Lok Sabha.
 
She was by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's side when the latter's government fell in 13 days. While addressing the Parliament in the aftermath, she stressed that it was not the first time a 'rightful ruler' was not given the throne.
 
"Treta Yug mein Ram ke saath yahi ghatna ghati...Dwapar mein yahi ghatna Yudhishthir ke saath ghati... [Similar thing happened with Lord Rama in Treta Yug and Yudhishthir in Dwapar Yug]” 
 
"Agar ek Manthara aur ek Shakuni ke vajah se itna kuchh huya, toh aaj toh humaare saamne kitni Mathara aur kitne Shakuni hain"
 
Referring to Manthara from Ramayan and Shakuni from Mahabharat, both negative characters, Sushma Swaraj accused the then rulers of scheming to topple the Vajpayee government.
 
At this point, the MPs on ruling benches were livid, but the general commotion included kudos for Sushma Swaraj for the effortless way of making her point.
 
"Don't make your speech so interesting," the then Lok Sabha Speaker could not resist saying this in an appreciative manner.
 
And this was the moment everyone in Lok Sabha, across party lines, gave a hearty chuckle – a visible ode to her oratory.
 
Watch the video below:


 
Sushma Swaraj was a prodigy. She became an MLA at the age of 25 from Ambala in Haryana. She was gifted in linguistic skills. When the Language Department of Haryana held a state-level competition, Sushma Swaraj won the award for Best Hindi Speaker for three consecutive years.
 
It was a shock for everyone, including journalists, to hear of her demise. 
 
What made the news difficult to the process was that she had made her last tweet just hours before her death.
 

 
For a prodigious leader who was keen on engaging with the common man, her last words came on a public platform she used to revolutionise the role of a government ministry.
 
This sounds painfully poetic. It would really have been a lot easier going through our daily lives knowing that the firebrand lady was observing everything from the ringside.
 
Godspeed, Sushma Swaraj! 

Also Read | Sushma Swaraj's body to be kept at BJP headquarters on Wednesday, last rites at Lodhi crematorium 

Also Read | Sushma Swaraj, the world needed to hear more of you, more from you

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