Indira Gandhi had twice served as the defense minister in 1975 and 1982. However, Sitharaman is the first woman to come into the position full-time.
Nirmala Sitharaman became India’s second woman defense minister after she was elected to the Cabinet on Sunday.
Sitharaman, born in Madurai, is now about to lead the world’s third-largest defense force, which has 1.4 million on-rolled personnel.
She completed her graduation in economics from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College and then went to JNU to finish her master’s along with having a special paper in the Indo-European trade.
After her marriage, she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, in London, where she researched on Eastern European economies.
And as she returned India, Sitharaman served as a deputy director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Hyderabad.
Nirmala’s political career started after she joined the BJP in 2008 and in next two years, she became the second woman spokesperson of India’s now-ruling political party.
When the BJP won the Lok Sabha elections and came into power in 2014, she was made the minister for commerce.
Now, just before two years of the next Lok Sabha elections, she has been made the defense minister of India.
As she took her oath, she stressed on exploring opportunities for women in direct combat and field defenses.
As reported by IANS, she says:
Somebody who has come from a small town, grown into the party with all the support of the leadership, and if given such responsibility, it just makes you feel sometimes that cosmic grace is there. Otherwise, it is impossible. I would now explore opportunities for women in on-field defenses and direct combat roles to strengthen the armed forces and equalize gender proportions at the same time.
And the fact our nation is now defended by a woman herself, we can only get a hint of things getting better for India (and its daughters).