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Meira Kumar

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Meira Kumar is an Indian politician and a five time Member of Parliament. She was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha and served from 2009 to 2014. Born March 31, 1945, into a political family, she completed B.A. and M.A. degrees in English literature and an LL.B. from the University of Delhi. Her father, Jagjivan Ram, was prominent in the Indian independence movement and was a longtime crusader for social justice. He served in the union government as minister of defense from 1977 to 1979 and deputy prime minister briefly in 1979. Her mother, Indrani Devi, also was an advocate of independence and was a social worker. In 1973 Kumar entered the Indian Foreign Service, where she served for more than a decade. After postings to Madrid and London, she decided in 1985 to enter politics, encouraged by her father and by Rajiv Gandhi, then prime…