Hailed as one of the most successful women leaders in India, Sushma Swaraj passed away on 6th August, 2019 at the age of 67 due to cardiac arrest at AIIMS Delhi.
Who was Sushma Swaraj
Born on 14th February 1953; Sushma Swaraj was a senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, a former Supreme Court lawyer and a former External Affairs Minister of India.
Her parents were Hardev Sharma, a prominent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member, and Shrimati Laxmi Devi. Swaraj earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in Sanskrit and Political Science from Sanatan Dharma College in Ambala Cantonment, Haryana, India. She studied law at Punjab University, Chandigarh. She won the best Hindi Speaker award for three consecutive years in a state-level competition held by the Language Department of Haryana. Sushma Swaraj married Swaraj Kaushal, a peer and fellow advocate at the Supreme Court of India on 13th July 1975. The couple has a daughter named Bansuri. Swaraj had a kidney transplant in2016. Earlier this year, she even opted out of contesting the 2019 Indian general election due to health reasons. She was an inspirational figure and one of the strong women in India. Swaraj has many firsts to her credit as BJP’s first female Chief Minister, Union Cabinet Minister, general secretary, Spokesperson, Leader of Opposition and Minister of External Affairs. She is known as the first woman External Affairs Minister in India and the second woman to hold the office, after Indira Gandhi. Swaraj had been elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. She’s also known to have become the youngest cabinet minister of Indian state of Haryana in 1977, at the age of 25. At the age of 27 years, she became State President of Janata Party (Haryana) in 1979.
She was Education Minister of Haryana state in the Bharatiya Janata Party–Lok Dal coalition government during the period of 1987 to 1990. From 13th October 1998 to 3rd December 1998, Swaraj served as 5th Chief Minister of Delhi and became the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi. She is also acclaimed as the first female spokesperson for any national political party in the country.
After winning the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh for a second term during the 2014 Indian general election, Swaraj became the Minister of External Affairs in the union cabinet on 26th May 2014 and served till 30th May 2019. Swaraj is the Indian Parliament’s first and the only female MP honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. Swaraj was called India’s ‘best-loved politician’ by the US daily Wall Street Journal.
Sushma Swaraj’s outstanding achievements and her remarkable lifelong dedication towards serving her country and people living both in India and abroad is very exceptional and will be forever remembered.