28 December 1952 – August 24 2019
May Your Soul Rest in Peace!
Dear Arun Jaitley Sir,
Today, the nation learned of your journey to another world, a place more peaceful than the one we could offer.
We already miss you but know you are at peace and resting wherever you are. You deserve the well-earned rest for you lived to give your best to the nation, as always.
We remember you as a young and proactive student in your school days from 1957-1969 in St Xavier’s, Delhi. Yes, those were wonderful days indeed.
And then we saw you as a young student of B.Com at the Shri Ram College of Commerce. Those days were fun spending time between classes sipping endless cups of tea at the college canteen. Days just flew by, shuttling without care between home and college, in that ubiquitous “Univ Special” since we always carried that life-saving “DTC Pass” to get anywhere and everywhere in Delhi!
Your fellow students in SRCC remember you striking the right balance between the pressures of academics and participation in student activities in college.
You were always vocal and clear in what you thought, as we remember you for always standing up for what you believed was right, never shying away from expressing your opinion when and where it mattered – a quality we admired you for, and one that always remained with you.
It was only natural to see you take an active interest in Delhi University student politics and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) offered the perfect platform for you. Thankfully, you took it and began walking a path that would eventually lead you to the highest offices you served for our country.
It was a matter of pride for your friends, family, and fellow students when you were elected the president of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) in 1974. Delhi University then, as it is now, was full of student activism with issues concerning the university, youth of the city and country at large.
We saw you relentlessly take up student problems as if they were your own and pursue them up to the logical conclusion it deserved.
1973-74 was a period the country remembers. It was a landmark period when the late leader and activist Jai Prakash Narayan launched the movement against corruption. Those were hectic days of student activism, a movement which ultimately led to the dreadful Emergency, 1975-1977, imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
It was a period of national turmoil affecting people’s life, as it did to yours when you spent nineteen months in preventive detention. On being released, you joined Jana Sangh, the organization from which BJP was born.
The days spent on student activism and civil rights added to pressures of keeping up with academics, but you did not allow it to get in the way of finding time for friends and family. Yes, we all fondly remember you for that.
1977 was another landmark year, for you were appointed President of Delhi ABVP and All India Secretary of ABVP. Both positions would be your training ground for life in active politics. You trained hard, and you trained well.
We remember you joining the BJP and becoming the President of the BJP Youth Wing, soon after the party’s birth in 1980. The party remembers your service and the standard you set for others to follow.
Beyond politics, there was also a career waiting for you, a new path which would lead you to emerge as one of India’s most successful and leading Attorneys.
And then, came the wonderful moment in 1982 when Sangeeta entered your life as a spouse and partner. It was only a matter of time before being blessed with two bundles of joy (not at the same time though), Sonali and Rohan, both of whom followed your path as attorneys.
You were a brilliant attorney, but life had larger responsibilities in store for you. In 1999, you joined the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and would be the first of many portfolios you would hold during your long and very illustrious career.
You have just left us, your colleagues and staff in the Ministry of Finance already miss your counsel, guidance, and advice. The government has won a second popular mandate, and you were part of the effort that made it possible.
Your colleagues in the Government and party will miss your services for the high standard you set throughout your career, and will continue to offer light to those who follow.
You have lived your life well and served your country with honour. This nation will always remember you fondly and wish the best for you, wherever you are.
Strength to your family.
May you rest in peace, Sir!