India, Aug. 24 -- Three years ago, I had written Arun Jaitley's authorized semi-biography in my book, Courting Politics, and, with deep sorrow today, I write this tribute to a gentleman-politician and luminous personality. The outpouring of grief that has marked his death reveals the sway he exercised across political ideologies and parties, and the love he received from his people.

Jaitley was a man of ethics who followed a code of conduct far removed from the political climate he thrived in. That was the brilliance of the man. He steadfastly defended his way of doing and looking at things in the most adverse climates. Yet, he remained loved by all he interacted with. His code did not make him aloof but approachable, loyal, and courteou...