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Droupadi Murmu Creates History, Becomes The First Tribal President Of India

Droupadi Murmu becomes the 15th President of India and the second female president. Murmu is expected to take oath on 25 July. She has also scripted history by becoming the first tribal leader to hold such an important position.

In what may be a first for India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had nominated Droupadi Murmu (64), a Santhal from Odisha, as its Presidential candidate for the top constitutional post of India. After Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Murmu will become India's second female president.

Ms Murmu was chosen after a detailed discussion of 20 candidates by the BJP and its allies, JP Nadda said after a meeting of the party's parliamentary board on Tuesday, June 21. As a result of her television news broadcast, Ms Murmu said she was "surprised" and "delighted" to learn of her nomination.

Who Is Droupadi Murmu?

Born on June 20, 1958, in Mayurbhanj, Odisha, the 64-year-old former teacher has spent decades with the BJP and served as a state governor. She has been elected as the country's first tribal leader to hold the president's office.

She received her undergraduate degree from Ramadevi Women's College, Bhubaneswar. She began her career as a teacher before becoming a state legislator. After that, she worked as an honorary assistant professor at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research, Rairangpur, and then as a junior assistant in the irrigation department of Odisha.

Murmu belongs to a Santhal family, which constitutes a tribal ethnic group. Murmu was married to Shyam Charan Murmu. They had two sons and a daughter together. However, her life has been marked by personal tragedies, such as the loss of her husband and two sons.

Droupadi Murmu's Political Background

Murmu is also recognised as a strong tribal political leader. During her tenure as Governor of Jharkhand, she returned the bills introduced by the BJP to amend the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (SPT). Tribals of Jharkhand vigorously opposed the erstwhile BJP government's proposed amendments to the CNT & SPT Acts.

Having been elected twice to the state assembly as a member of the BJP, she represented the Rairangpur constituency in 2000 and 2009. From 2000 to 2004, she served as a minister in the state's coalition government, led by Naveen Patnaik of the Biju Janata Dal party. At first, she was responsible for commerce and transportation but was later assigned the fisheries and animal resources portfolios.

Ms Murmu served as the BJP's state wing for the scheduled tribes - tribal communities recognized by India's constitution as economically and socially disadvantaged.

After being appointed as the first female governor of Jharkhand, she stepped down from active politics in 2015. In addition, she was the first tribal leader from Odisha to serve as governor of a state, and she held that office for six years until July 2021.

BBC Hindi's Ravi Prakash reported that Ms Murmu was widely appreciated for creating an environment where people of all communities and walks of life were welcome in the governor's office.

[image source: TOI]

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