Draupadi Murmu, the new President of India is the first tribal woman and second female to assume the highest seat in the hierarchy. Murmu, a BJP leader won the Presidential Election 2022 over her political opposition nominee Yashwant Sinha. She was the NDA’s presidential candidate who is now the President of India succeeding Ram Nath Kovind. She is the youngest and first individual to have been born after India’s independence in 1947, elected to this post. But prior to her dramatic win, Murmu has a career worth inspiring. This is her story.
Hailing from a Tribal community to secure the top constitutional post, the journey of Draupadi Murmu
Draupadi Murmu was born in a Santali family on June 20, 1958, in the Baidaposi area of Rairangpur, Odisha. Politics run in her family, as both her father and grandfather served as Sarpanch under the Panchayati Raj system. Murmu excelled in academics and graduated from Rama Devi Women’s College. She later worked as a teacher at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre in Rairangpur. Murmu married a banker, Shyam Charan Murmu, with whom she bore one daughter and two sons, both of whom died. Her husband also passed away in 2014.
In 1997, Murmu joined BJP to kick start her political career. She was elected as the councilor of the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat. In 2000, she became the chairperson of the Nagar Panchayat. She also served as National Vice-President of BJP ST Morcha. During the BJP and BJD coalition government in Odisha, she was the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation from March 6, 2000, to August 6, 2002, and Fisheries and Animal Resources Development from August 6, 2002, to May 16, 2004.
Her life changed when in 2015, she was elected as the first female governor of Jharkhand. With this, she also became the very first tribal leader from Odisha to be elected as a Governor. During her six-year tenure, Murmu has been an exceptional leader in a BJP-ruled state as well as Union Government.
Though her time as a Governor never spared her from backlash especially in 2017 when the Raghubar Das ministry was seeking amendments to the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908, and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, 1949. These two laws safeguarded the rights of the tribal communities on their land. The new amendment gave tribals the right to sell their lands for commercial purposes. However, several people were against the amendment as the original law assured that the land could be sold only among tribals. Murmu received a total of 192 memorandums against the bill. In 2017, the bill was withdrawn.
In June 2022 Presidential Election, BJP appointed Murmu as National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate. Cut forth today, Draupadi Murmu became the 15th President of India and will assume the position on 25 July 2022. During her election campaign, Murmu visited various states as a part of her campaign seeking support for her candidature. Several opposition parties like JMM, BSP, and SS among others had announced support for her candidature prior to polling.
By becoming the first Tribal President of India, Draupadi Murmu has scripted history like never before. Being the second women president, she has once again proved that it’s time for women to come forward and do the undone. Hailing from a community that is yet to have access to proper schools and hospitals, Murmu overcame many obstacles, but she faced them and today stands tall at the highest constitutional post of India. Draupadi Murmu is an inspiration for all.