'Fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy': Foreign Policy magazine names Sushma Swaraj as 'Global Thinker'

The Foreign Policy magazine has included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in its 2016 list of 15 Global Thinkers for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy.
Twitter diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Sushma Swaraj, Source: FILE PIC
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi December 14, 2016 16:44 IST

The Foreign Policy magazine has included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in its 2016 list of 15 Global Thinkers "for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy".

In a post published on its website, the magazine recalled how, when around 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia faced a "food crisis" earlier this year due to job losses, Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the issue to six million followers on the social media website.

"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. 

Stating that this was not the first time that Sushma Swaraj used the internet to reach out to people abroad, the magazine 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."

The magazine also noted the sense of humour of Swaraj.

It recalled how Swaraj responded to a Twitter user when he requested for help repairing his refrigerator.  

“Brother I cannot help you in matters of a Refrigerator. I am very busy with human beings in distress,” she tweeted. 

The magazine noted how BuzzFeed has called Swaraj “the most badass foreign minister on the internet” and the Washington Post has dubbed her “Supermom of the State.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to congratulate Sushma Swaraj for this.

"Very proud to see our hardworking EAM @SushmaSwaraj part of the @ForeignPolicy Global Thinkers list 2016! Congrats," Modi tweeted.

Among others on the list are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sushma Swaraj is currently recuperating from a kidney transplant operation at the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences here.
She announced on Twitter last month that she was in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Soon after, a people tweeted to her offering their kidneys. 

Even during her stay at the hospital, she has not stopped responding to distress calls on the micro-blogging website. 

She currently has over 6.8 million followers on Twitter.  

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