Known as India’s most accessible foreign minister, Swaraj was a popular figure under the Modi government for her immediate solutions to problems tweeted by the common man. She also used social media as a strong tool and was one of the most tech-savvy ministers. Sushma Swaraj won hearts of millions of Indians for solving issues and her sense of humour.
Here are some lesser known facts about Sushma Swaraj’s early life and her political career:
Sushma Swaraj’s birth
The seven-time Member of Parliament, Sushma Swaraj was born on 14 February, 1953 in Haryana’s Ambala Cantt to parents Hardev Sharma and Shrimati Laxmi Devi.
Sushma Sharma to Sushma Swaraj
Sushma was earlier known as Sushma Sharma before she got hitched to Swaraj Kaushal.
The Pakistan connection
Sushma’s parents hailed from Dharampura area of Lahore in Pakistan. While in office, the former minister had also visited Dharampura during her last visit to Pakistan.
The 67-year-old got her college education from Sanatan Dharma College in Ambala Cantonment. She then went on to get her bachelor degree with majors in Sanskrit and Political Science. It did not end there. Sushma Swaraj then opted for Law and obtained her degree from Chandigarh’s Punjab University.
An ideal student
While in college, Sushma Swaraj received the title of the best cadet of N.C.C at the SD College, Ambala Cantt for three years in a row.
In succession, Sushma also won Hindi Speaker award for three consecutive years held by the Language Department of Haryana.
Sushma Swaraj had a flair for music, drama, fine arts and poetry. In fact she had also given some of her notable accomplishments in these areas during her life. Hence people called her an all-rounder.
Baby steps in politics
Sushma Swaraj took her first step in politics in the 70s. She began her political career with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after the Emergency period.
Politics was a part of the family since the beginning as her father Hardev was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
In top court
After studying law, Sushma began practising as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India in 1973. During this time, she also met her husband Swaraj Kaushal. Since Swaraj was closely associated with socialist leader George Fernandes, Sushma soon joined Fernandes’s legal defence team in 1975 and was also a part of George Fernandes Legal Defence team in the Baroda Dynamite case.
Marriage with Swaraj Kaushal
The Swaraj love story started in their college days. Sushma tied the knot with her colleague and friend Swaraj Kaushal during the time of emergency on 13 July, 1975.
The Supreme Court of India credited Swaraj Kaushal with the title ‘Senior Advocate’ as early as when he was 34 years old. Swaraj Kaushal also served as the Mizoram Governor from February 1990 to February 1993.
Youngest Cabinet Minister
When she took charge as the cabinet minister in the Janata Party Government of Chief Minister Devi Lal in 1977, she was the youngest one to occupy that position at the age of 25.
Of the many firsts to be honoured
Sushma also became the State President of Janata Party (Haryana) in 1979, at the age of 27 years.
She is additionally the main female Spokesperson of a national political party in India. Swaraj has numerous firsts to her credit as BJPs first female Chief Minister, General Secretary, Leader of Opposition, Union Cabinet Minister, Spokesperson and Minister of External Affairs.
She liberated the Indian film industry
When Sushma Swaraj served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Broadcasting in 1988, she declared the film making sector as an industry that gave it the eligibility to receive bank finance.
First female CM of Delhi
In 1998, for a short span of time Sushma Swaraj became the first woman chief minister of the state of Delhi from 13 October to 3 December.
Contested against Sonia Gandhi
In 1999 Lok Sabha elections, Sushma Swaraj contested against Sonia Gandhi from Bellary, a Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka but she lost against her. Yet she managed to get 358,000 votes in just 12 days of her campaign but lost with a little margin of 7%.
From January 2003 to May 2004, Sushma Swaraj served as the Union Health Minister. And in this short period of time, the stalwart opened up six All India Institute of Medical Sciences, at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh.
Honored with Outstanding Parliamentarian Award
Sushma Swaraj is Indian Parliament’s first and only female MP till date to be honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2004.
She has been chosen seven times as the member of the parliament, and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly.
Pushed Congress to Form a Separate State for Telangana
Arguing with her own mentor Senior BJP Leader LK Advani, a ferocious Swaraj made sure that the Telangana Bill is Passed. She in fact, was one of the key members in the Opposition to strongly support and push the Telangana Bill.
This is the reason why she said, “Telangana, when you thank Sonia amma for the formation of Telangana state, don’t forget your Chinamma(Sushma Swaraj referring to herself).”
Second woman to be Minister of External Affairs
Serving since 26, May, 2014, as Minister of External Affairs under Narendra Modi led NDA government, Sushma was the second lady to be India’s Minister of External Affairs after Indira Gandhi.
A conciliatory genius
The most noteworthy accomplishment of operation Rahat, during Yemen Crisis. At the point when India helped manly nations including United Kingdom, Russia, United States, Pakistan etc.
Like parents like daughter
The couple have a daughter, Bansuri Swaraj, who is a graduate from Oxford University and a Barrister at Law from Inner Temple, London. Bansuri obviously has followed the footsteps of her mother.
She was easily accessible via tweet
Sushma was one of the most tech-savvy ministers the country had seen. She was known to help people during their difficult times. She was reachable via tweet anytime and every time. She was perhaps the quickest in reaching out to people and helping them even in distant lands.