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'Importance of being earnest'ly Sitharaman: The new finance minister of India

This is a Nirmala Sitharaman appreciation post -- and she totally deserves it.

Sonal Gera Sonal Gera @SoNull_NVoid
New Delhi Updated on: May 31, 2019 14:15 IST
The 59-year-old former JNU student, Nirmala Sitharaman has

The 59-year-old former JNU student, Nirmala Sitharaman has now become only the first Indian woman to hold the portfolio of the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs -- full fledged.

First defence, and now finance; this lady has been making and breaking records and how.

This is a Nirmala Sitharaman appreciation post -- and she totally deserves it.

On Friday, Nirmala Sitharaman was allocated the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs -- one of the most important ministries for India.

The 59-year-old former JNU student, Nirmala Sitharaman has now become only the first Indian woman to hold the portfolio of the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs -- full fledged. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi was the finance minister in 1970-71, but that was a charge in addition to her prime ministerial duties.

When she was the defence minister in Modi Sarkar 1 (or NDA I), Sitharaman was -- again -- the first Indian woman to hold the portfolio. Incidentally, it was Indira Gandhi who had held the additional portfolio of defence ministry while she was the prime minister.

No easy feat to achieve. But the most well deserved one.

In a patriarchal society like India, where politics remains one of the fields damned to the entry of women, Sitharaman has not only made her mark but has also proved how efficient and effective women can be if given an opportunity. In fact, they soar higher.

Picture this! In a hall full of learned men, a lady takes on the president of the oldest political party of the nation on a topic that has held her boss' political nerve for long.

It was a stretch of two-and-a-half hours to worth remember for decades.

In a heated debate in Parliament in January, 2019, punctuated by questions and accusations from the Opposition, the then defence minister, Nirmala Sitharaman gave a point-by-point rebuttal to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's allegations.

Sitharaman attacked Congress for questioning her and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's integrity and defended the deal for the 36 Rafale fighter planes, signed after the contract of 126 jets was scrapped.

She did not stutter -- even for once and fought 'like a woman'.

Sitharaman's ascension to the Ministry of Finance in the Modi Sarkar 2.0 seems to be a true reward for her heroics and earnest dedication.

Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2006, when Nitin Gadkari was the party chief, and she went on to become the national spokesperson of the party. 

During the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure, as prime minister, in 2003, she became a member of National Women for Commission and continued till 2005. 

Always uphill in the ranks of the saffron party, Sitharaman has big boots to fill in -- of that of Arun Jaitley's, the man who introduced demonetisation and GST to India.

Sitharaman's immediate challenges include creating jobs, raising public investment without compromising fiscal prudence, bringning in policy reforms to attract oil majors to upstream sector, and regulating taxation.

But with her expertise, courage and dynamism, Sitharaman does not seem to be falling any short of the standards set by her predecessor.

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