External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar praised former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for her contributions to the Indian diaspora. Jaishankar stated, “Our relationship with the Indian communities abroad is strong. And will remain stronger is because of Sushma Swaraj - she led the front." He was addressing the members of the Indian diaspora in Austria's Vienna.
“I would say in those five years when she was the minister, she was the face and the voice of that message. And of course, we created a system for that to happen. But I still feel that she was so symbolic of that change. I am personally very grateful that you have recalled her at a time like this,” he added.
Following a heart arrest, Sushma Swaraj, a BJP veteran, passed away on August 6, 2019, at the age of 67. This occurred just two months after the party was re-elected to power in the Lok Sabha elections. She served as the minister of external affairs during the first half of the Narendra Modi administration, which ran from 2014 to 2019.
Jaishankar also commended the diaspora's role in fostering Indo-Austrian relations.
"When people think of India, they don't think of a country, they think of a person. They relate to an Indian and the experience they had with that Indian. If that experience with that Indian is good their impression of India flows from there. For me, all the diplomacy I do is nothing compared to the image and the sentiment that you create. So, keep doing what you are doing here," he said.
The external affairs minister shared pictures on Twitter and wrote about the interaction. He wrote: “So glad to interact with the thriving Indian community in Vienna today. Appreciate the cultural performance that underlined how strong the connection is with our motherland. The image of the Indian community has done much to build goodwill between India and Austria.”