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Ms Sushma Swaraj in Singapore – October 5th, 2011
While many Indian women still struggling for their basic rights, Ms Sushma Swarj, Barathiya Janatha Party, the present leader for opposition, Lok Sabha, should be lauded, as she was a Minister when she was barely 25. She was in Singapore on the 15th September 2011.
As a member of GOPIO, I had a chance to meet the flamboyant lady, epitomizing the trademark of an Indian woman – a neatly combed bun, a big tilak on her forehead, in a traditional saree, during a dialogue session. It was organised by GOPIO (Global Organisation for the people of Indian Origin), SICCI (Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries) and GIIS (GlobalIndianInternationalSchool) at Holiday Inn Hotel, that evening.
The gorgeous yet simple woman was even touted as the future Prime Minister of India by the audience, if BJP is elected to power. But in person, she was more like a next door aunt to many. Such was her smile and interaction with the people there!
Ms Sushma Swaraj said, India can remain stable in spite of the unstabilized economies of U.S and Europe. She attributed this to two reasons. One is the space of the country and another is its population. Others who joined her in the dialogue session were the Member of Parliament Mr Anand Kumar, Chandan Mitra, and Balbir punj. The dialogue session was fruitful for everyone present there as it envisaged a closer link to India as the topics discussed ranged from India being a place for medical tourism, state of the Multi-National Companies, Agriculture to the voting rights of Non-Resident Indians. Her experience and ability was evident in her answers to the questions.
Spotting that she being the only woman on the dais, a lady from the audience asked her, if she has experienced any male chauvinism in her life? a right question to a woman who has a proven herself through out her career and has reached to such heights in this male bastion society. Ms Swaraj said, she has absolutely not experienced any male chauvinism right from her young days be it is in her family, school, her Party, in her Ministerial positions or other assignments. She has been recognized for what she is.
She considers Gujarat as a role model among other states in India, as Gujarat registers 12% growth in the agricultural sector. Hence she urged the other states to follow Gujarat and implement such reforms in the agricultural sector.
One in the audience, expressed his view that soon the day comes when Indian leaders will seek medical treatment in India rather than opting overseas. Ms Swaraj was quick to dismiss his idea and brought in the fact the ex-Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee was treated in India and now India is emerging as a strong medical tourism center.
The event was very successful as it was attended by over 250 people.