Throwback: When Sushma Swaraj replied to a fan who asked her to give Indian citizenship to Rashid Khan

Her unique way of handling requests from people on social media endeared her to the nation.

Rashid Khan
Sushma Swaraj and Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sushma Swaraj, the former foreign affairs minister of India and one of the mightiest leaders in politics of the country, passed away following a heart attack at the AIIMS in New Delhi on Tuesday, August 6. She had earlier tweeted congratulating the MPs for passing the resolution which removed the Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and had thanked the Indian PM Narendra Modi for making it happen in her lifetime.

Swaraj was one of the most likable and proud politicians in the country and helmed the foreign affairs ministry during the first tenure of PM Narendra Modi’s cabinet from 2014-2019. She had undergone a kidney transplant and also for other ailments in 2016 and had cited the same health reasons, for not fighting the polls in 2019, making way for others to take over. She was 67 years old.


Sushma Swaraj – A great orator and a master of using Twitter to help others

Sushma Swaraj in her tenure as foreign minister made the use of Twitter popular for helping out Indian citizens not only in the country but also anywhere in the world. She had a chequered career in politics, which saw her becoming the very first woman chief minister of Delhi in 1998. She had started her career at the age of 25 when in 1977, she became the youngest cabinet minister in Haryana government.

Her unique way of handling requests from people on social media endeared her to the nation and one such instance happened when a fan asked for Indian citizenship to be given to Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan after his exemplary outing in the Indian Premier League in 2018.

The tweet came after Rashid annihilated Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier of the edition at Eden Gardens. The then 19-year-old Rashid who was still a rising star scored a quickfire 34 off just 10 deliveries, and then returned with a match-winning spell of 3/19 to help his team win by 14 runs.

A fan tweeted to Sushma Swaraj requesting to give Rashid Indian citizenship so that he could play for India. Swaraj replied, “@rashidkhan_19 – I have seen all the tweets. Citizenship matters are dealt with by the Ministry of Home affairs.”

Here’s her tweet

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, who appreciated Rashid’s efforts, too tweeted, “Afghans take absolute pride in our hero, Rashid Khan. I am also thankful to our Indian friends for giving our players a platform to show their skills. Rashid reminds us whats best about Afg. He remains an asset to the cricketing world. No, we are not giving him away. @narendramodi”