Former Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj died today after suffering a heart attack. She was 67 years old and widely respected as the face of women in Indian politics. She was treated for cardiac arrest at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
India Today notes that she was well-liked by the Indian people. She served as foreign minister for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first cabinet, and she took a humanitarian approach to international relations. She was especially interested in fixing minor problems like issuing visas to those living in poverty and providing relief to Indians living in need.
Before Sushma Swaraj died, she had been suffering from health problems. She began preparing to leave the political scene last year due to her health problems after announcing in November that she wouldn’t contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. According to The Economic Times, she was treated for kidney failure in 2016.
Swaraj was India’s first external affairs minister, serving from May 2014 to May 2019. She was elected to parliament seven times and to the legislative assembly three times. She was also a key figure in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Hours before passing away, she tweeted a thank-you to Modi and praised the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which effectively removed Kashmir’s special status and autonomy. She hailed the move and called it “a bold and historic decision,” according to India Today.
प्रधान मंत्री जी – आपका हार्दिक अभिनन्दन. मैं अपने जीवन में इस दिन को देखने की प्रतीक्षा कर रही थी. @narendramodi ji – Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you very much. I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 6, 2019
Soon after it had been announced that Sushma Swaraj died, condolences began to pour in over social media. Modi called her death the end of “a glorious chapter in Indian politics.”