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Sushma Swaraj: Life And Times Of India's Former External Affairs Minister

This morning, India woke up to the heartbreaking news of the demise of their beloved leader Sushma Swaraj. The former External Affairs minister and BJP stalwart was admitted to AIIMS, New Delhi on 6 August around 9:30 pm and succumbed to death due to cardiac arrest soon after.

While the whole country is mourning the irreparable loss, let us take a look at the exceptional life story of this remarkable politician who redefined India's foregin ministry.

Early Life And Education

Sushma Swaraj was born on 14 February 1953 at Ambala Cantt, Haryana. Her parents Hardev Sharma and Shrimati Laxmi Devi were originally from Dharampura area of Lahore, Pakistan. She attained a bachelor's degree from Sanatan Dharma College, Ambala Cantt and later studied law at Punjab University, Chandigarh.

Political Career

Her political career began in 1970 when she joined Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s. After the emergency during the regime of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, she became a part of Bharatiya Janata Party. She started her practice as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India in 1973.

This eloquent speaker had won the best Hindi-speaker award for three consecutive years in a state-level competition held by the Language Department of Haryana. She became a member of Haryana legislative assembly and acquired the Ambala Cantonment assembly seat at the age of 25 in 1977. This made her India's youngest cabinet minister. Not only she served as the Education Minister of Haryana state, but also went on to become the first female Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998.

Sushma Swaraj earned the responsibilities of many significant ministries. She handled the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the ministry of Telecommuniactions, the ministry of Health, Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs. She was chosen as the Indian Minister of External Affairs under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She was the second woman in the history of Indian politics to hold this prestigious position.

Achievements And Contributions

Though the foreign policies implemented by her seldom received flakes from the opposition, they are considered to be exemplary in determining India's relationship with other nations. Not only did she build a cordial relationship with her global counterparts, this 'supermom' of India won hearts with her willingness to help any Indian in distress worldwide.

She was honoured with the esteemed Grand Cross of Order of Civil Merit, that was presented by the Spanish Government in recognition of India's support in evacuating its citizens from Nepal during the 2015 earthquake.

PM Narendra Modi expressed his deep condolences through a series of tweets that read, "An excellent administrator, Sushma Ji set high standards in every Ministry she handled. She played a key role in bettering India's ties with various nations. As a minister we also saw her compassionate side, helping fellow Indians who were in distress in any part of the world."

From being the most-followed politician on Twitter to the most prominent female face of India in the international political spectrum, Sushma Swaraj had achieved innumerable firsts during her lifetime.

She is survived by her husband Swaraj Kushal and daughter Bansuri.

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