RIP Sushma Swaraj: Take a look at 10 lesser known facts about India's most popular Foreign Minister

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.
Sushma Swaraj Death: Take a look at 10 lesser known facts about India's most popular Foreign MinisterSushma Swaraj Death: Take a look at 10 lesser known facts about India's most popular Foreign Minister
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India's former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj breathed her last on August 6 after she suffered a cardiac arrest and revival attempts failed. Sushma Swaraj was rushed to AIIMS, Delhi a little after 9 pm yesterday by her family members. 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. 

Did you know that Sushma Swaraj was also the youngest cabinet minister at the age of 25 in the Janata Party Government, headed by then Chief Minister Devi Lal. Here are some lesser known facts about Sushma Swaraj's early life and her political career: 

1. Sushma Swaraj's birth

The seven-time Member of Parliament, Sushma Swaraj was born on 14 February, 1953 in Haryana's Ambala Cantt. Born to parents Hardev Sharma and Shrimati Laxmi Devi, Sushma was earlier known as Sushma Sharma. Politics was a part of the family since the beginning as her father Hardev was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. 

2. 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. As an external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj was always vocal about her stance on the issue of terrorism in Pakistan. On her demise, Pakistan's Minister for Science & Technology Fawad Hussain took to Twitter and said that he will miss his social media fights with her. "She was a giant in her own right," the Pakistani minister said.

3. Early life and college

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. 

4. 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.

 

5. 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. 

6. 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. Apart from being the youngest Cabinet minister, Sushma also became the State President of Janata Party (Haryana) in 1979, at the age of 27 years. 

7. Marriage with Swaraj Kaushal

The Swaraj love story started in their college days. Sushma tied the knot with her colleague and friend Swaraj Kaushal on 13 July, 1975. Their camraderie was known by all especially when Sushma announced her retirement from active politics. Her husband won the Internet when he said "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."

8. 44 years of marriage

Weeks before Sushma Swaraj breathed her last, the couple had celebrated 44 years of marriage. The couple have a daughter, Bansuri, who is a graduate from Oxford University and a Barrister at Law from Inner Temple, London.

9. Milestones achieved

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. 

10. Awards

Sushma Swaraj is Indian Parliament's first and only female MP till date to be honored with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2004. 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.

 

 

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