Our beloved External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been named in the Global Thinkers of 2016 List that was compiled by the Foreign Policy magazine. Swaraj was among the 15 people in the list who were nominated in the category of decision-makers “For fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy”.

Swaraj has ushered in a new style of diplomacy through dynamic engagement on Twitter – even from her ICU bed – collected her privileged place along with the Democratic nominee for US President Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among others.

“From evacuating Indians from Yemen to helping replace lost passports, Swaraj has earned the nickname ‘the common tweeples leader’ for her aggressive use of Twitter,” the magazine noted. The magazine also gave out a place to the co-founders of Sampark Foundation, the Nayars, in the Moguls segment for unplugging technology so kids can learn.

Also Read: Ten Reasons Why Sushma Swaraj is a Great Leader

Other Indians listed in the global thinkers of 2016 list are – Nitesh Kadyan, Nikhil Kaushik, and Anirudh Sharma of Graviky Labs and immunologist Gursaran Prasad Talwar.


According to the magazine, the Global Thinkers honours those who work as the society’s pillars, who pledge for safer surroundings, who are notable thinkers and who only think about the future above all. The 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016 are emblematic of our innate desire to confront pessimism rather than surrender to despair, to challenge ugliness rather than resign to failure, it added.

Swaraj’s selection in the list is a no-brainer as she is known for her prompt action in helping both Indians and non-Indians.

Some of her notable actions are:

“In July, Sushma Swaraj, India’s external affairs minister, tweeted to roughly 6 million followers that 10,000 Indian workers employed inside the kingdom faced a ‘food crisis’. What followed was a weeks-long social media operation in which Swaraj posted information for migrants about rations provided by the Indian Embassy, claims for unpaid wages, and government-organized transportation home,” wrote Foreign Policy describing what put Swaraj on the list of influential decision-makers of 2016.

Also Read: Daughters belong to all says Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan girl attending Indian conference

The most followed woman leader in the world (according to her Twitter profile which notes over 5 million followers), Swaraj who was called “Supermom of the State” by The Washington Post, is now in bed rest (though she isn’t resting at all!!) after undergoing a kidney transplant four days ago. Yesterday, she was shifted out of the Intensive Care Unit at Delhi’s AIIMS and doctors assured us of her recovering well. Not a very long time ago, Buzzfeed had named her “the most badass foreign minister on the Internet.”

In June, Swaraj helped rescue Judith D’Souza, a young aid worker in Afghanistan, who was kidnapped in Kabul.


Swaraj put up effort to supply food to labourers employed in Saudi Arabia where working conditions can often be inhuman, and her attempt to reunite a couple torn apart by a missing visa on their honeymoon are highly commendable.

Swaraj responding to an Indian man in Saudi Arabia who tweeted an image of unemployed workers who were homeless and starving:


Swaraj springing into action in other cases:


This February, Swaraj helped bring back to New Delhi a woman and her daughter who were stranded in a refugee camp in Germany

Global Thinker indeed!

Interested in politics in the age of social media? Read ‘The Big Connect‘ by Shaili Chopra

Feature image credit: Twitter

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