Arun Jaitley, informally called the ‘scholar minister’, was a celebrated lawyer before he stepped into the political arena. He passed away on August 24, 2019, at AIIMS, Delhi, where he had been admitted earlier this month after he complained of breathlessness and other health issues. Condolences and memorial messages have been pouring in as the news of his demise is reaching people. Sophisticated, eloquent, and a visionary Arun Jaitley, whose career spanned a four-decade-long political journey, was the chief troubleshooter for BJP and PM Narendra Modi.
One of his earliest stints in politics was in 1974, as the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) President, when he protested against the Indira Gandhi regime, consequently spending 19 months in Tihar jail.
He made his formal entry into the national political landscape of the country in the early 1990s, fondly recalled as the period when the nation was at the apex of a political and economic transition.
Widely known as a brilliant scholar of law, Arun Jaitley was a man of diverse interests and gradually made a prominent space for himself in BJP’s political hierarchy.
He began as a junior minister, handling Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Disinvestment. After the year 2000, he was promoted to the position of a Cabinet Minister for BJP, where he handled several ministries: Law, Justice and Company Affairs & Shipping Ministries.
He pursued his graduation from the Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce. In January 1990, he went on to become a senior advocate, followed by becoming the Additional Solicitor General of India at the age of 37.
In 1998 he was also appointed a member of the Indian delegation to theUN General Assembly. His scholarly endeavours were many and result-oriented.
However, Arun Jaitley thrived as a parliamentarian, instead of a Cabinet Minister. Being the leader of the opposition in 2009 in Rajya Sabha, he ensured a rational and healthy critique of the government’s policies. An articulate speaker as he was, with his speeches and questions he would take the government on the matter of scams, scandals, and issues that eventually contributed to the downfall of the UPA government.
Once described by Narendra Modi as ‘a precious diamond, his influence was far stretched beyond politics. He was a prominent figure in the legal circles, even after entering politics. He was an important cricket administrator, who had a solid grasp over the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Being a Delhi boy at heart and graduating out from the hallowed halls of St. Xavier’s school in the city, his love for cricket was well known. Passing away of this well-read strategist and an outstanding politician is an irreplaceable loss for India.