The country mourns in the demise of its most favorite politician. Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj succumbed to Cardiac Arrest at the age of 67 yesterday at AIIMS Delhi.
Let us take a look at the glorious life India’s Super Mom had!
Early life and marriage:
She was born to Hardev Sharma and Shrimati Laxmi Devi at Ambala Cantt, Haryana, on 14th Feb 1953. Hardev Sharma was an active RSS member. She did her graduation from Sanatan Dharma College in Ambala Cantonment in Sanskrit and Political Science. Furthermore, she studied law at Punjab University.
A Love Life Like None:
Two believers of opposite ideologies met in college, and cupid struck! While Sushma had had her roots in RSS while Kaushal was a socialist. They got married on July 13, 1975, fighting against all odds, be it emergency prevailing at that time or their families’ objection to the match.
Despite coming from an orthodox Haryana Family, she went on to take her husband’s name after marriage. The couple has a daughter named Bansuri, who is a lawyer in Supreme Court. The couple celebrated 44 years of togetherness just a few days before her death on 6th august!
“Thank you very much for your decision not to contest any more elections. I remember there came a time when even Milkha Singh stopped running.”
Kaushal won hearts over the internet by this tweet he posted after Sushma decided against contesting 2019 general elections owing to bad health. Such was their love!
A Graceful Career:
She began her political journey with ABPY in the 1970s. She and her husband were part of Socialist Leader George Fernandes’s legal defense team. She was active in Jai Prakash Narayan’s Total Revolution Movement. She joined BJP after Emergency and went on to become a National Leader.
She acquired the Ambala Cantonment Assembly seat at the age of 25 in 1977, and then again in 1987. She was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister in Janata Party Government in July 1977, headed by then CM Devi Lal. She also served as state president of the Janata Party at the age of 27, in 1979. She served as Education Minister of Haryana State in the BJP-Lok Dal coalition Government in 1987 for three years.
She became the first female CM of Delhi in October 1998, only to resign in December the same year. She served as a member of Rajya Sabha from April 1990 until she was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from South Delhi constituency in 1996.
She also served as Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting during the 13-day government of PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee the same ear.
She started her second term as MP from South Delhi Parliamentary constituency in March 1998. She was sworn in as Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting with an additional charge of the Ministry of Telecommunications from 19 March 1998 to 12 October 1998, Under the second PM Vajpayee Government.
She returned to Parliament in April 2000 as a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh. She was reallocated to Uttrakhand when the new state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh on 9 November 2000. She was inducted into the Union Cabinet as Minister for Information and Broadcasting, a position she held from September 2000 until January 2003.
She served as Minister of Health, Family Welfare, and Parliamentary Affairs from January 2003 until May 2004, when the National Democratic Alliance Government lost the general election.
Swaraj was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha for the third term in April 2006 from Madhya Pradesh state. She served as the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha till April 2009.
Sushma Swaraj became Leader of Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha in place of Lal Krishna Advani on 21 December 2009 and retained this position till May 2014 when in 2014 Indian general election her party got a historic victory.
Swaraj had served as the Indian Minister of External Affairs under Prime Minister Narendra Modi from May 2014 to May 2019.
She has a lot of firsts to her name, let’s have a look at some of those milestones:
1. Only the second woman to hold the office of foreign affairs after Indira Gandhi
2. Became youngest cabinet minister of Haryana at age 25 in 1977
3. Became the first female CM of Delhi in 1998
4. Was called India’s “best-loved” politician by US daily Wall Street Journal.
5. Was the first female Spokesperson of a national political party in India.
6. BJP’s first female Chief Minister, Union Cabinet Minister, general secretary, Spokesperson, Leader of Opposition and Minister of External Affairs
7. She is the Indian Parliament’s first and the only female MP honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award.
8. The Washington Post, in one of its pieces, named her India’s ‘Supermom’
9. 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.
10. She was the first female Spokesperson of a national political party in India.
The most amiable and respected, let us have a look at her milestone policies and work, which turned the face of Indian Politics.
As Union Health Minister, she set up six All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Bhopal (MP)
Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Patna (Bihar), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Rishikesh (Uttrakhand).
While serving as Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting with an additional charge of the Ministry of Telecommunications from in 1998, her most notable decision was to declare film production as an industry, which made the Indian film industry eligible for bank finance.
Throughout her term as a minister of external affairs, Swaraj lent a helping hand to Indians and others stuck overseas.
Be it granting a year-long medical visa to a Pakistani girl for open-heart surgery, or extending the medical visas of two other Pakistanis in the same year for liver surgeries.
From offering humanitarian aid to a Yemeni woman married to an Indian man in 2015, to helping an Indian who lost his wallet and passport in Germany, her kindness knew no boundaries.
All in all, this day will be called the black day for Indian Politics as our “Supermom” left a mourning country to meet the humble abode.
Ma her soul rest in peace.