Guwahati: Remembering the youngest ever cabinet minister and known for also being a people’s minister in her tenure while handling the berth External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj was one of the most prominent faces of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) who immensely contributed to the party’s growth and never shied away from taking challenges.
Swaraj passed away on August 6, 2019, at the age of 67, after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Serving as the external affairs minister in the 2014 Modi government, Sushma Swaraj is credited with the salutation that she was the most accessible external affairs minister the country has seen so far. With a long list of crucial help extended to people during difficult situations, Sushma Swaraj created a special benchmark to her office as well as a personal profile during her tenure.
A four-time member of Lok Sabha and three-time of Rajya Sabha, she did not contest in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing her bad health.
Sushma Swaraj was born on February 14, 1952, in Ambala, India.
Swaraj was an Indian politician with an extraordinary personality and unusual capacity of understanding matters in the most effective manner. It was her strong, fearless and fine foreign policy and administrative ability that made her win the common people’s heart and the title of ‘Iron Lady’.
Remarkable facts about Iron Lady of India:
- Swaraj started practice as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India in 1973. Sushma started her career as the student leader in the early 1970s.
- Swaraj also got the title of Supermom of India by the Washington Post because she saved hundreds of Indian people stuck in other nations and vice versa.
- In 1977, Sushma Swaraj became the youngest cabinet minister, at the age of 25, in the Janata Party government, headed by then Chief minister Devi Lal.
- Sushma Swaraj was the second woman to hold the office of the Ministry of External Affairs, after Indira Gandhi.
- She was referred to as the Best Speaker of Haryana successively for 3 years.
- She was the first ever female Chief Minister of Delhi.
- From the underworld to the legal papers, the journey of film production to make it to an industry, again made possible by Sushma Swaraj when she declared Indian film industry, thus making it eligible for bank finance. Swaraj was Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting at that time.
- She was married to Swaraj Kaushal, a designated senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India who served as Governor of Mizoram from 1990 to 1993. Kaushal was also a Member of Parliament from 1998 to 2004.
- Sushma believed in astrology and gemology to the core. She dressed, ate and practiced life as per the guidelines of these sciences.
- Swaraj is also known as an ‘all-rounder’ because of her interests in classical music, fine arts, drama and poetry.
- Swaraj was also the recipient of the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award and was awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 2020.
- Her role in resolving the prickly Doklam standoff between the Indian and Chinese sides will be remembered. Though known to be a tough fighter in the political battlefield, Swaraj was admired and respected across party lines.
During her tenure as Union Health Minister (January 2003 to May 2004) she opened up 6 All India Institute of Medical Sciences, at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh.