External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who fashioned a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy, was named in the Global Thinkers List of 2016, compiled by Foreign Policy magazine. Swaraj was named in the "decision makers" category along with the Democratic Party's nominee for US presidential election Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, etc.
In a website posting, the magazine recalled how, when around 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia faced a "food crisis" earlier this year due to job losses, Swaraj tweeted about the issue to six million followers on the social media website.
"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-organised transportation home," it said.
Saying that this was not the first time Sushma Swaraj used the internet to reach out to people abroad, the posting said, "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."
Swaraj, who is recovering from a kidney transplant in New Delhi's AIIMS, 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. Swaraj has 6.8 million followers on Twitter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Swaraj upon being named in the Foreign Policy list.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 14, 2016
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup also tweeted acknowledgement of the honour.
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) December 14, 2016
Senior BJP leaaders, including Venkaiah Naidu and Suresh Prabhu, sent out congratulatory messages for Swaraj. President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated the minister as well.
@SushmaSwaraj happy to know about successful kidney transplant, prayers and best wishes for speedy and complete recovery
— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) December 10, 2016
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) December 14, 2016
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) December 14, 2016
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) December 14, 2016
Happy to know that my sister @SushmaSwaraj has been named in the Global Thinkers 2016 list compiled by d Foreign Policy magazine. Congrats.
— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) December 14, 2016
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) December 14, 2016
The magazine complimented Swaraj "for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy".
"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.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 14, 2016 18:59:54 IST