Friday 2 September 2022

President Droupadi Murmu - Tribal Woman And More

The largest democracy got its 15th President on 25 July 2022.

What comes to your mind when you think of the new President?

First “Tribal President”?

“Second Woman President of India”?

“Tribal Woman President”?

President Droupadi Murmu is much more. 

Murmu Madam is not just representative of the 8.6 % tribal population of India, or the 48.46% female population of India (Figures as per the 2011 Census); rather she is India’s President.

In the nation where a Chaiwala is the Prime Minister, the President is this self-made citizen belonging to “the poorest of the poor family” from a “small village”, and ex-Teacher, Councillor, MLA, Minister, and Governor!

Credit:  ANI
(Delhi | President Droupadi Murmu receives ceremonial salute at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.)

The top office has an educated, well-qualified, dedicated, resilient, hard-working, disciplined, empathetic, empowered, simple, and inspiring personality from whom we can learn the following:

Respect the Roots

Ashamed of the gender or tribe or humble roots?

Where we come from should not be our excuse or something needs to be avoided or hidden; rather, it must be our strength and we must be comfortable and proud to accept and acknowledge. Many are shy or ashamed of their roots or family. Once successful, some never want to face them again. How will the structure be strong when the foundation is on shaky ground?

Dream it & Do it

President Murmu said that her nomination is evidence that the poor in India “can not only dream nut also fulfill those dreams.”

One critic feels- “Elevation of one person to the top post is welcome but it will not enhance the living standards of Schedule Tribes.”

In the words of a critic- “Recent bill is going to snatch forest land for corporate to the detriment of Scheduled Tribes many of who live in forests. Will Droupadi Murmu raise voice. No.”

A critic shared- “Symbolic development is not important.”


President Murmu said that it is satisfying to her that “the poor, Dalits, backward, the tribals” can see her as their reflection.

When faced with obstacles and adversity, some break; while others like President Murmu break records. They just keep going. What matters is the indomitable spirit, will, courage, confidence, and stamina.

Madam’s present position and journey speaks volumes. Despite personal loss and having lost both her sons and husband, she never gave up and continued.

Morning Shows The Day; Education Paves The Way

Madam President used to rank first in her class. She had also been the class-monitor in her school. 

She was the first girl from her village Uparbeda, a remote place in Rairangpur tehsil, Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, who went to study outside. She went to the state-capital Bhubaneswar to do her schooling, and, then, she continued her studies at the Rama Devi Women's College there. She was the first woman graduate of her village.

Village on the World Map!

 Madam, now their village, town, district, and state is in the news and more people have heard and learned about "Uparbeda", “Rairangpur”, "Mayurbhanj" of Odisha, India. 

They celebrated "utsaba" (festival); and they are so happy that they are “celebrating all festivals”! 

Social Service with a Smile

Droupadi Madam shared wonderful words in her inspiring inaugural speech with terms like- "Vocal for Local", "Atmanirnirbhar Bharat", "sabka prayaas aur sabka kartavya", "nishta aur lagan", "ekjut", "jagat kalyan", "kartavya path" and many such. She continued working for social causes like a true karamveer and has sorted many problems and issues for others.

Madam President shared these Odia words by quoting Odisha’s famous poet and saint Bhima Bhoi:

"Mo jibana pachhe narke padithau...Jagata udhara heu"

Meaning in Hindi:

"Apne jeevan ke hit-ahit se bada- jagat kalyan ke liye karya karna hota hai." 

Translation in English:

"Working for the welfare of the world is greater than own interest."

Symbol of Empowerment

Initially, when Madam was nominated, some made fun of her first name and also her tribal background.

Now, many are hailing Madam’s selection and election as ‘tribal empowerment’ and ‘women empowerment.’

It is no doubt- “empowerment”.

Both tribals and women are considered weak. And a “Tribal Woman” is even weaker…

Apart from being the symbol and triumph of empowerment, Madam President also represents hope, courage, sustainability, simplicity, humility, and the power of education. She empowered others too after being empowered herself.

Hail Mother!

In her speech, Madam Murmu also shared that all must take care of the environment. She expressed that service to nature is everyone's responsibility. Nature means Mother Nature and Mother Earth.

During Madam Murmu's swearing-in ceremony, “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and "Vande Mataram" could be heard from the audience. India is our motherland.

In a past speech of Madam Murmu, she states that Odisha is her motherland where she was born and learned to walk and studied.

In Sanskrit, it is said- “Janani Janmabhoomischa swargat api gariyasi”. It means: Mother and motherland are greater than heaven.

President Murmu is a mother and a grandmother also. May this mother of our motherland be blessed.

It is great that Mother India now has a great mother as our nation’s President.

For many like me, her nomination and election has been wish-fulfilling, cathartic, overwhelming, and emotional.

Bande Utkala Janani.

Vande Mataram

Bharat Mata Ki Jai.

More about Madam Murmu-

Vocal For Local - President Droupadi Murmu

My first article published on Women's Web on July 27, 2022 is about Madam Murmu- 

Droupadi Murmu – Much More Than Her Tribal Woman Identity

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