Remembering the late Sushma Swaraj- A leader who went head to head with global diplomats in pursuit of India’s interests

This day marks the 69th birth anniversary of former Minister of External Affairs of India, Late Mrs.Sushma Swaraj. This article sheds light on Late Mrs.Sushma Swaraj’s illustrious career & her contribution to Indian society.

By Rohit Sindhu, Updated : Feb 14, 2021 18:02 IST
Remembering the late Sushma Swaraj- A leader who went head to head with global diplomats in pursuit of India’s interests
Late Sushma Swaraj- Former Indian Foreign Minister- Photo source- Twitter

Sushma Swaraj (14 February 1952 – 6 August 2019) was an Indian politician and a Supreme Court lawyer. A senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, Swaraj served as the Minister of External Affairs of India in the first Narendra Modi government (2014–2019).

Sushma Swaraj was born on 14 February 1952 at Ambala Cantonment, Haryana, to Hardev Sharma and Shrimati Laxmi Devi. Her father was a prominent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member. Her parents hailed from the Dharampura area of Lahore, Pakistan. 

She was educated at Sanatan Dharma College in Ambala Cantonment and earned a bachelor's degree with majors in Sanskrit and Political Science.  She studied law at Panjab University, Chandigarh.  A state-level competition was held by the Language Department of Haryana where she won the best Hindi Speaker award for three consecutive years.

In 1977, she became the youngest ever Cabinet Minister in the Government of Haryana at 25 years of age. In 1979, she became State President of Janata Party, Haryana State at the young age of 27.

Sushma Swaraj was the first female Spokesperson of a national political party in India. She 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.

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She is the Indian Parliament's first and the only female MP honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. She has contested 11 direct elections from four states. She has served as the President of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in Haryana for four years.

On 19 February 2019 Swaraj accepted the prestigious Grand Cross of Order of Civil Merit, which was conferred by the Spanish government in recognition of India's support in evacuating its citizens from Nepal during the earthquake in 2015.

Unfortunately on 6 August 2019, Sushma Swaraj reportedly suffered a heart attack in the evening after which she was rushed to AIIMS New Delhi, where she later died of a cardiac arrest.  She was cremated the next day with full state honors at the Lodhi crematorium in Delhi.

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