Sushma Swaraj had a great fan-following not just among the public but also had admirers cutting across party lines. From helping Indians stuck overseas to interacting with people on the social media platform, Twitter, she emerged as one of the most popular leaders during her term as the External Affairs Minister from 2014-2019.
Very few women Indian politicians have gone on to hold top most ministerial positions and even fewer have been able to win the hearts of public the way Mrs. Sushma Swaraj did. At ETV Bharat News Today, we will have a look at the reasons behind the popularity of Mrs. Swaraj. In this article, ETV Bharat Delhi will look into the life and times of one of the most admired ladies of India.
Sushma Swaraj, born February 14, 1952, who was a prominent BJP leader breathed her last on 6th December 2019 after suffering a cardiac arrest. The ex-Union minister, who passed away at the age of 67, had a great fan-following not just among the public but also had admirers cutting across party lines. From helping Indians stuck overseas to interacting with people on the social media platform, Twitter, she emerged as one of the most popular leaders during her term as the External Affairs Minister from 2014-2019.
Her term as the foreign minister will be remembered for many path-breaking steps such as ease of passport procurement procedure and enhanced engagement with the East. She was only the second woman to hold the foreign ministry after Indira Gandhi.
Education And Career
The father of Mrs. Sushma Swaraj was a prominent RSS member. She completed her BA in Sanskrit and Political Science from S. D. College, Ambala Cantonment. She completed her LL.B. from Punjab University and practiced as a Supreme Court lawyer for some time. Her political career began with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the RSS and joined the BJP in the 1970s. She was elected six times to the Lok Sabha and three times as MLA.
She was the Minister for Information and Broadcasting during the 13-day Vajpayee Government in 1996. During this short tenure, she started live telecast of Lok Sabha debates. She also held the health ministry in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. She became a Member of Parliament in 1990. She won the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh in 2014.
Sushma Swaraj had many firsts to her credit. At 25, she became the country’s youngest Cabinet minister in the Haryana government in 1977. She was the first woman CM of Delhi and the first woman spokesperson for a national political party in the country.
Humanitarian Gestures As Foreign Minister
Swaraj was especially known for lending a helping hand to Indians stuck overseas during her tenure as the External Affairs Minister. She was also known for her ‘digital diplomacy’, whereby she made extensive use of social media platforms to further diplomatic ties with other nations.
She will be especially remembered for her humanitarian gestures such as granting a medical visa to a Pakistani girl for heart surgery in 2017. She extended the medical visas of two other Pakistanis for liver surgeries in the same year.
In 2015, she helped hundreds of Indians stuck in Basra (Iran) based on a video she received on social media. In the same year, she came to the rescue of another Indian who lost his wallet and passport in Germany.
A Kashmiri medical student in the Philippines who sought her help with a damaged passport was also assured of help by her. The student’s profile mentioned that he hails from India-occupied Kashmir to which Sushma reminded him that there is no such place as India-occupied Kashmir.
These are just a few examples of her kindness. All these people reached out to her on social media, and she turned to their support without delay. Cutting across party lines, she had admirers even in the opposition and had cordial relations with many leaders from other political parties.