External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, who is known for her swift rescue of Indians trapped in other countries, just returned to work after a major kidney transplant surgery. On her first day at the Lok Sabha, she not only presented a powerful speech but also shut down Mallikarjun Kharge of the opposition.
Kharge complained that the Indian government has been silent on the recent hate attacks on Indians by US citizens. To this, Swaraj retorted that the matter has been taken up by the US government “at very high levels”.
“That we’ve been silent on the attacks is far from reality. That is not how this government works. In fact, even if one Indian living abroad is aggrieved, we try and solve his problem within 24 hours,” said Swaraj in her speech, reported TOI.
“The government is committed to ensuring the safety and security of the Indian diaspora,” she added, while responding to Kharge’s claim.
Swaraj spoke in detail about all the hate attacks that took place recently in US. These include killings of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas and Harnish Patel in South Carolina, assault on Deep Rai in Kent, Washington state, and Ashok Madasani (in the Kansas incident). She also mentioned statements by US top leaders like President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, Kansas governor Sam Brownback and secretary of homeland security John Kelly, each one of who showed support in investigating for the deaths of all the Indians and those who got injured.
They have deployed agencies like the FBI for “quick and clear response of the US political leadership and the law enforcement authorities”, Swaraj pointed out.
“The widespread messages of sympathy and support from all quarters in the US give us confidence that these incidents are acts of individuals and do not represent the overwhelming sentiments of the American people towards India,” she said.
When Swaraj entered Parliament, she was met by a few party MPs like Yogi Adityanath and Uma Bharti who came to receive her. After she was done with her speech, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan complimented her on her “powerful voice” and said she was delighted to hear her in the Lok Sabha once again.
Swaraj’s speech lasted 15 minutes and she spoke while standing throughout. She read from a prepared text but made her own analysis in between and broke the speech only for a few sips of water.
Stating that the safety of Indians outside the country is top priority for the Modi government, Swaraj said, “The PM was busy with campaigning when these incidents occurred but made it a point to ask the MEA every single day what it was doing. I personally oversaw the MEA’s response while still recuperating from my medical condition,” she explained.