Droupadi Murmu sworn in as India's first tribal president - GulfToday

Droupadi Murmu sworn in as India's first tribal president


Draupadi Murmu is administered oath of office by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana (L) in New Delhi on Monday. AP

Gulf Today Report

Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India's president on Monday, making her the first person from one of the country's marginalised tribal communities to serve as head of state.

The former school teacher and state governor was elected to the largely ceremonial position last week with 64 per cent of the vote by members of India's parliament and state assemblies.

Murmu-salute Draupadi Murmu salutes as she receives a guard of honour during her swearing in ceremony in New Delhi. AP

"Her assuming the Presidency is a watershed moment for India especially for the poor, marginalised and downtrodden," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter after Murmu's address.

Murmu said her election would give hope to those left behind by India's recent economic growth.

"It is a matter of great satisfaction to me that those who have been deprived for centuries, who have been away from the benefits of development... are seeing their reflection in me," she said.


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President Murmu thanked all MPs and MLAs for electing her.

"My election to the post of President is proof of the fact that in India, the poor can dream and also fulfil those dreams. Reaching this office is not my personal achievement but that of all the poor people in the country. It is the power of India's democracy that a girl born in a poor tribal home could reach the topmost constitutional post," President Murmu said.

India’s President elect Droupadi Murmu (centre) interacts with folk performers in New Delhi. AFP


Murmu noted that it is also a coincidence that her political career started when the country was celebrating its 50th year of Independence and today in the 75th year of independence, she got this new responsibility.

Murmu, who is from the Santhal tribe and was born in eastern Odisha state, paid her respects before her inauguration at a memorial dedicated to India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi.

"I started my life journey from a small tribal village," Murmu, 64, said after taking the oath of office in parliament.

"From the background I come from, it was like a dream for me to even get elementary education," she added.

"But despite many obstacles, my resolve remained strong and I became the first daughter from my village to go to college."

Murmu's win was considered a certainty because of the strength of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the parliament and state assemblies.



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