Obituary Current Affairs - 2019

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Fact Box: Sushma Swaraj

Former Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in New Delhi. She was 67, She had started her political career under Janata Party and was elected to the Haryana assembly in 1977 and became a state minister at age 25.

About Sushma Swaraj

She was born on 14 February 1953 at Ambala Cantonment, Haryana. Her father Hardev Sharma was a prominent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member. She was lawyer by profession and had practiced in the Supreme Court. She had started her political career as active member of Jayaprakash Narayan’s anti-Emergency movement and later she became a member of Bhartiya Janata Party. She was a seven-time Member of Parliament and a three-time MLA (representing Ambala Cantonment assembly seat from 1977 to 1982 and had won for first time at age of 25).

Many firsts to her credit: (i) Youngest Cabinet Minister (age) in Haryana Government in 1977, (ii) first woman Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998 (iii) first woman spokesperson for any national political party in the country and (iv)India’s first full-time woman Foreign Minister.

Important offices held: She was External Affairs Minister (from 2014 to 2019), leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (from 2009 to 2014), Minister for Information and Broadcasting in Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government (2000-2003), Minister of Health and Family Welfare ( anuary 2003 to May 2004), Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (January 2003 to May 2004) and 5th Chief Minister of Delhi (from October 1998 to December 1998).

Tenure as External Affairs Minister: She was second Indian woman to become External Affairs Minister, after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ( However, it was not full-time portfolio).

Contributions: She had played key role in resolving the Doklam standoff with China in 2017 and in India approaching International Court of Justice (ICJ) challenging Pakistan military court’s death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav. Through her extensive use of Twitter, she had earned reputation of easily-accessible External Affairs Minister. She took personal interest in resolving minor issues like issuance of visa to the needy and helped Indian diaspora in distress through her social media outreach.

Renowned Tamil novelist Thopil Mohammed Meeran dies aged 74

The well-known Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee Thopil Mohammed Meeran passed away at the age of 74.

About Thoppil Mohamed Meeran

  • In his lifetime he received eight literary awards which includes Sahitya Akademi Award and Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumantram Award.
  • He won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997, for his novel Saaivu Naarkkaali (The Reclining Chair), released in 1995.
  • Other Novels Authored: are Thuraimugam, Anju Vannam Theru, Oru Kadalora Graamaththin Kathai, and Koonan Thoppu (all between 1988 and 2011).
  • His Short Story Collections and extensive translation work, gave him a prominent place in literary world. Some of his short story collections includes Thangarasu, Oru Maamaramum Konjam Paravaigalum, Anbukku Muthumai Illai, Oru Kutti Theevin Varippadam, Ananthasayanam Colony, and Thoppil Mohamed Meeran Kathaigal.
  • Forte: Due to his mastery over both Malayalam and Tamil, he could use both languages in his novels effortlessly. This became the speciality of all his literary works i.e. his novels brilliantly narrated the fisherfolk’s life with details in both Tamil and Malyalam.