President Murmu: A Poor Tribal Girl Becomes President of India

Letter from New Delhi

By Kul Bhushan

“It is the power of India’s democracy that a girl born in a poor tribal home could reach the topmost constitutional post,” said Ms Droupadi Murmu, aged 64, after she was sworn in as the 15th and the youngest President of India on 25 July 2022. This statement highlighted her journey from a hamlet in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, one of the most underdeveloped in India, to the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Mansion) on New Delhi.

Sand artist SudarsanPattnaik marks the swearing-in day of President DroupadiMurmu with this sand sculpture on the Puri beach.

After she signed the formal oath of office, she closed her eyes for some seconds and remained still as hundreds of VIPs in the huge hall wondered what was happening. She went into deep meditation. This is the bedrock of her tempestuous life which brought her to this position.

During a tumultuous period in her personal life after she was defeated in a crucial election, she lost three of her closest family members in six years; her eldest son, Laxman Murmu, in 2009; her younger son, Sippun Murmu, in 2013; and then her husband, Shyam Charan Murmu, in 2014 in a series of unfortunate incidents. Deeply involved in her political career at that time, she struggled with severe depression. Then she took time off to meditate with Brahma Kumaris to restore her balance and face life again.

“Look no further for your Monday Motivation. Above all else, she is a person of extraordinary courage and a commitment to serve. Her inner strength has enabled her to withstand all the challenges life has thrown at her. I join in saluting her. A moment of intense pride for India,” tweeted Anand Mahindra, the Mahindra Group Chairman.

All tribes in the seven North East state are elated by President Murmu’s rise to the highest constitutional post and people belonging to the tea-tribe community are optimistic that Murmu will take steps to ensure granting of the Scheduled Tribe status to them. They also live in Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. Many watched her oath taking ceremony on national television and celebrated this achievement with boisterous song and dance by traditional folklore dancers in no less than 130,000, yes, a hundred and thirty thousand villages. This has immense political significance in the coming general election in 2024 because most, if not all, tribes may well vote for the ruling party. Read More… Become a Subscriber


Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 22 July 2022

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