External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who ushered in a new style of diplomacy through dynamic engagement on Twitter, was named in the Global Thinkers List of 2016 compiled by Foreign Policy magazine.
Swaraj, who is currently recuperating after a kidney transplant, was included in the ‘Decision-makers’ category alongside former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Bank ki-Moon and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. She was cited in the list ‘for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy.’ The minister, who has 6.8 million followers on Twitter, has resolved issues ranging from passport problems to rescuing overseas Indians trapped in conflict-prone conditions. Her popular perception was so positive that many came ahead to donate their kidneys for her transplant surgery.
“From evacuating Indians from Yemen to helping replace lost passports, Swaraj has earned the nickname “the common tweeple’s leader” for her aggressive use of Twitter,” the magazine noted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted congratulating Swaraj for the recognition and called her ‘hardworking.’
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 14, 2016
Apart from Swaraj, other Indians on the list included Anupama Nayar and Vineet Nayar, co-founders of Sampark Foundation in ‘the Moguls segment for unplugging technology so kids can learn.’ The couple are trying to revamp primary education in rural areas with low-tech teaching tools. Alongside them in the category of people ‘who put their money where their morality is’ are Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.