New Delhi: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is known not only in India but across the world for the alacrity with which she intervenes and sorts out problems—usually humanitarian issues—of common people brought to her notice via Twitter.
But one request for help posted late Sunday on her timeline drew her wrath.
The request was a from a man who identified himself as a techie from Pune whose wife was employed by the Indian Railways and stationed in Jhansi.
“Can u plz help us in ending our banwas (exile) in India? My wife is in Jhansi Rly employee and I work in Pune in IT. Been a year+," said the post on Swaraj’s timeline.
The minister who is convalescing after a kidney transplant at home and known for her compassionate responses to Indians and foreigners in distress, was not amused—for apparently putting pressure in public on the government for a transfer of a government employee.
“If you or your wife were from my Ministry and such a request for transfer was made on twitter, I would have sent a suspension order by now," tweeted back Swaraj—a post which recorded more than 9,000 likes and 4,300 retweets on Monday.
Ironically, the techie seems to have drawn inspiration from another tweet from a man in the US who used Twitter to appeal to Swaraj to expedite his wife’s passport as he said he was forced to live without her in the US.
“hello madam please help my wife get passport cleared. I am forced to live without her in US. Passport issues," said the tweet posted on Sunday morning—to which Swaraj had responded: “Ohh ! This banwas should end soon" as well as tagged a senior official in charge of consular, visa and passport issues.
Prior to this, Swaraj had intervened in a number of cases whether it was expediting a medical visa for a bed-ridden Egyptian woman, Eman Ahmed, to come to India or urging the Kerala state government to expedite the trial of a person accused of raping a Japanese tourist.
Also noteworthy is the fact that it was on Twitter that Swaraj revealed in November that she was on dialysis and would be seeking a kidney transplant.
Many of Swaraj’s colleagues in the Narendra Modi led government use the social media platform to put out news of their ministries’ activities. Modi himself is active on Twitter.