Remembering Sushma Swaraj: A powerful orator, people's minister and a woman of many firsts

Updated: 08 August, 2020 01:00 IST | Sunny Rodricks
  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj was born on February 14, 1952, at Ambala Cantonment, Haryana. Her maiden surname was Sharma. Her father Hardev Sharma was a prominent member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Her mother's name was Laxmi Devi. Sushma Swaraj's parents hailed from Lahore.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj studied at Sanatan Dharma College in Ambala Cantonment and got a bachelor's degree with majors in Sanskrit and Political Science. Later, she studied law at Punjab University in Chandigarh. Sushma Swaraj was declared the best cadet of NCC for three consecutive years at SD College, Ambala Cantonment.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj was a brilliant orator since her young days. She won the best Hindi speaker award for three consecutive years in a state-level competition held by the language department of Haryana.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    In 1973, at the age of 21, Sushma Swaraj started her practice as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India. She was a lawyer by profession. Her alma mater Punjab University honoured her with the degree of Doctor of Laws.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj entered politics in the 1970s with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) that is All Indian Student Council, the right-wing student's organisation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj married Swaraj Kaushal, fellow advocate at the Supreme Court of India, on July 13, 1975. Apparently, the Emergency movement brought the couple together. After the Emergency, Sushma Swaraj joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

    In photo: Sushma Swaraj with her husband Swaraj Kaushal on their wedding day

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal served as a Member of Parliament from 1998 to 2004. He also served as the Governor of Mizoram from 1990 to 1993. Sushma Swaraj's daughter Bansuri Swaraj is an alumnus of The University of Oxford and a Barrister at Law.

    In photo: Sushma Swaraj with her husband Swaraj Kaushal during 'Karwa Chauth'.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj and her husband Swaraj Kaushal were credited as the 'Most Distinguished Couple' by Limca Book of Records for their achievements and distinction at a young age.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj became a member of the Haryana State Legislative Assembly and a Cabinet Minister in Haryana at the age of 25 in 1977. Steeped in party ideology, Swaraj was sharp with her political punches. She became the country's youngest Cabinet minister in Haryana government when she was only 25.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj became the President of the Janata Party in Haryana in 1979 when she was 27. She was elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly.

    In photo: Sushma Swaraj with Narendra Modi.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj served as Cabinet Minister in Haryana for Labour & Employment, Housing, Education. She also held positions like Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Telecommunication, Health & Family Welfare, Parliamentary Affairs in the Union Cabinet and Minister for External Affairs in the Union Cabinet.

    In photo: Sushma Swaraj with her 'rakhi brother' M Venkaiah Naidu.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Did you know that Sushma Swaraj was the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi? She served for 52 days from October 13, 1998, to December 3, 1998, to spearhead the BJP's challenge in the assembly polls. After BJP lost the polls, she returned to national politics.

    In photo: Sushma Swaraj with Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    As a Minister of External Affairs in the first Narendra Modi-led government, Sushma Swaraj built a reputation for being available on social media to help out those who reached out to her.

    In photo: Sushma Swaraj has a hearty laugh with Congress leader Murli Deora while his son Milind Deora and Priya Dutt are seen in the background.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj was Indian Parliament's first and only female MP to receive the 'Outstanding Parliamentarian Award' for her contribution to Indian politics.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    As a member of BJP, Sushma Swaraj grew in the party ranks and became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1990. She had friends across the political spectrum and was held in high regard by leaders of all parties.

    In photo: Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari (in the background).

  • Sushma Swaraj

    On August 6, 2019, Sushma Swaraj passed away after suffering cardiac arrest. She was 67

    In photo: Mortal remains of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence in New Delhi.

  • Sushma Swaraj

    In photo: Bansuri Swaraj and Swaraj Kaushal pay tribute to Sushma Swaraj before her mortal remains are taken for last rites in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

  • Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj leaves behind her husband, Swaraj Kaushal, and daughter Bansuri Swaraj.

    In photo: Bansuri Swaraj as a child with her mother. Pic/Twitter Bansuri Swaraj.

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About The Gallery

Former External Affairs minister and BJP leader, late Sushma Swaraj Swaraj, was regarded as one of the most dynamic politicians of India. She had built a reputation for helping Indians stuck on foreign land. While it's been a year since she passed away on August 6, 2019, in New Delhi, her legacy still lives on. In her remembrance, here are some interesting facts about the people's minister and the woman who was truly a mother to thousands of Indians.

(All photos: mid-day archives, PTI and Bansuri Swaraj)

First Published: 07 August, 2019 09:30 IST