Arun Jaitley: A Politician At Heart, Seasoned Lawyer & Modi's Friend in Delhi
Rest In Peace
Saturday did not begin on a happy note for India. The world's largest democracy suffered a great loss when former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passed away. The 66-year-old was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on August 9 after complaining of restlessness and palpitations. Over a period of almost two weeks, Jaitley was moved to the Intensive Care Unit and was also kept on life support system. The BJP veteran will be cremated at the Nigambodh Ghat, New Delhi, today.
The news of his demise witnessed tributes pouring in on social media where Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered him as a valued friend.
The former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader served in PM Modi's cabinet in the 16th Lok Sabha, however, after being diagnosed with kidney ailments, the veteran had to step away. As finance minister, Jaitley played an instrumental role in making India a $2 trillion economy with a reformed indirect tax structure and the Goods and Service Tax (GST).
Here's to Jaitley, a seasoned politician and prolific lawyer who took the Indian economy to a new high.
A Politician At Heart
Arun Jaitley was born in 1952 to Ratan Prabha and Maharaj Kishen Jaitley. He completed his graduation in commerce from the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University, in 1973.
Even during his college years, Jaitley was very active in politics. He was a member of the student wing of BJP, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and was also elected the president of Delhi University's Student Union.
Jaitley's First Stint With Politics
After completing his education, Jaitley joined politics during the emergency years. The 1975 Emergency, imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, witnessed a number of journalists and politicians being arrested. Jaitley was one of thousands who were put behind the bars. He was first kept under preventive detention in the Ambala Jail. Later, he was sent to the Tihar Jail.
Jaitley, Post Emergency
After the emergency was lifted, Jaitley went on to pursue Law. He practised in the Delhi High Court, the Supreme Court, and officially joined the BJP in 1980. He then served as the Additional Solicitor General of India in 1989 and was later appointed as the party's national executive in 1991.
A Prolific Lawyer
Besides being a politician at heart, Jaitley established himself as a prolific lawyer of India. From working on the Bofors scandal in 1990 to becoming the full-time Law Minister in 2003, his legal career was boasted of a number of glorious moments.
Jaitley gained prominence for fighting cases for multi-national companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi Co. In 2009, he quit law practice.
Jaitley In The Vajpayee Government
Jaitley played a crucial role in the VP Singh government during the '80s, and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in during the late '90s and early 2000s.
In Vajpayee's 13-month government, he served as the Minister of State (MoS) for Information and Broadcasting. He then moved to the disinvestment and commerce ministry. Later, when Vajpayee came back to power, Jaitley served as the party's official spokesperson along with Pramod Mahajan and Sushma Swaraj.
A Valued Friend Of PM Modi
When PM Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Jaitley served as his close confidant. It was he who brought Modi in the national scene. From fixing his election agenda in Gujarat to becoming PM Modi's voice in front of the media, Jaitley played a key role in shaping our current PM.
While remembering a valued friend, PM Modi paid tribute to the former finance minister through a series of tweets. He hailed the former minister for being a towering intellectual with a great sense of humour.