“I have an axe to grind with you Didi. You made Bansuri pick a restaurant to take me for a celebratory lunch. You left without fulfilling your promise to the two of us.” Smriti Irani
Sushma Swaraj was born on 14 February 1952 at Ambala cantonment to Shri Hardev Sharma and Shrimati Laxmi Devi. Her father was an eminent member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. She completed her graduation in B.A with Political Science and Sanskrit as major subjects from the S.D. College of Ambala Cantonment. She did a degree course in LL.B. from the Department of Laws of the Punjab University at Chandigarh. In 1970 she received the Best Student award from S.D. College, Ambala Cantonment.
Sushma Swaraj started practice as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India in 1973. Swaraj began her political career with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the 1970s. Her husband, Swaraj Kaushal, was closely associated with the socialist leader George Fernandes and Sushma Swaraj became a part of George Fernandes’s legal defence team in 1975. She actively participated in Jayaprakash Narayan’s Total Revolution Movement. After the Emergency, she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Later, she became a national leader of the BJP.
In 1977, at the age of 25 years, Sushma Swaraj became the youngest Cabinet Minister in India. In 1979, at the age of 27 years, she became BJP’s State President in Haryana. Sushma Swaraj holds the record of becoming the first woman spokesperson of a national-level political part and the first woman Chief Minister. She is also the first woman Union Cabinet Minister and the first woman Leader of Opposition. She was given the Best Speaker award by the Haryana State Assembly. Sushma Swaraj received the Best Parliamentarian award twice in the years 2008 and 2010. She is the first-ever and the only woman MP to receive the Outstanding Parliamentarian award.
In a heartfelt note, Union Minister Smriti Irani said that she was disappointed with her “Didi” (elder sister), Sushma Swaraj, for leaving without fulfilling her lunch promise. Irani remembers how Swaraj had asked her daughter, Bansuri, to pick a restaurant for the three of them to go out on lunch, but she passed away before they could accomplish the same.