There are numerous stories of how the United States of America places a tremendous amount of worth on the life of its citizens and the killing of ISIS Chief Baghdadi was a further testament to this fact as the operation was named after Kayla Muller – a humanitarian aid worker who was working in Syria when she was abducted by the ISIS where she was raped by Baghdadi, tortured and killed. Ever since 2014, India has taken giant strides when it comes to helping Indians outside India with Sushma Swaraj starting the legacy and now it is heartening to see that Swaraj’s successor S Jaishankar has continued her legacy which is a fitting tribute to the late Sushma Swaraj.
The restive province of Rakhine in Myanmar is where the Myanmar government ordered a crack -down on the Rohingyas forcing the latter to flee the country and hence sparked one of the biggest humanitarian crises since the turn of the century.
Thanks to the timely intervention of the Indian government, five Indians and five Myanmar nationals including a Member of Myanmar Parliament who had been taken hostage by an ethnic rebel group in Rakhine have been rescued.
The Arakan Army is a Rakhine based insurgent group founded as the armed wing of the United League of Arakan (ULA) abducted the Indian nationals while they were on their way from Paletwa to Kyauktaw in Rakhine. However, one Indian national died due to a suspected heart attack while in the custody of the insurgent group and the released Indian nationals, along with the body of the deceased have reached Sittwe and will leaving for Yangon on for their journey to India. Earlier in April, India secured the release of all 24 Indian crew members aboard the seized Iranian ship from Gibraltar.
India throughout the tenure of Modi government has done daring operation on foreign shores and the heroic rescue of Indian nationals from war-torn Yemen continues to stand as one of the finest achievements of the Modi government. In 2015, India evacuated 1,000 nationals of 41 countries from Yemen with General VK Singh himself travelling to Yemen to ensure the daring rescue. Several Air India flights were flown to Sanaa, Yemen’s capital in spite of the non-stop bombings as VK Singh led mission rescued 4,600 Indians from Yemen. It is important to note that India also rescued the citizens of Britain, France and the United States thereby marking the arrival of a new resurgent India. The mission also saw India and Pakistan setting aside their differences and help each other rescue their nationals from Yemen. In the hindsight, the Yemen rescue announced India as a global player.
Whether it was the issue of Doklam stand-off or the Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terror attack, Sushma Swaraj, in the first term of Modi government made it a point to use all her experience and play her part as the External Affairs Minister responsibly. She used the power of technology and social media and to rescue every Indian in distress abroad. She was open and accessible to all via Twitter and always quick to respond. Whether it was rescuing 168 Indians trapped in Iraq, operation Raahat, helping an Indian citizen who lost money and his passport in Berlin, or rescuing a girl from trafficking in UAE, Swaraj’s time as External Affairs Minister is filled with such examples. So much so that several people on Twitter referred to her as Mother India, who always cared for her children.
Like Sushma Swaraj, Dr S. Jaishankar has also been using Social media diligently to further improve India’s efforts to safeguard interests of Indian Citizens abroad. Jaishankar who is one of the best diplomats in the world is determined to carry Sushma Swaraj’s legacy forward and there is no one more apt than S Jaishankar to fill the huge void by Swaraj.