On 25th July 2022, Droupadi Murmu took oath as India’s 15th President by succeeding Ram Nath Kovind. Droupadi Murmu was NDA’s Presidential candidate and won by a staggering margin by garnering 64% votes.
This is a landmark victory as she is the first person from India’s tribal communities to be elected for the country’s top post. At age 64, she is India’s youngest and the only second woman after Pratibha Patil to serve as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Droupadi Murmu is indeed a person with roaring success and so let’s dwell into her early life and career.
Personal Life and Early Career
Droupadi Murmu was born on 20th June 1958 to a Santali tribal family in Uparbeda village of Odisha. Her father and grandfather were village heads of the Gram Panchayat.
Upon completing elementary school at the age of 5, Droupadi Murmu shifted to Bhubaneswar for higher studies and went on to graduate in B.A. from Rama Devi Women’s College. In 1980, Droupadi Murmu married a banker, Shyam Charan Murmu. The couple gave birth to two sons and a daughter.
Droupadi Murmu has had her share of personal losses as well. From 2009 to 2015, Murmu lost her two sons, husband, mother and brother. One of her sons died in 2009 and the other one died in 2012 in a road accident. In 2014, she lost her husband to a cardiac arrest.
Droupadi Murmu is also an ardent follower of the Brahma Kumaris spiritual movement, a path she embraced upon after losing her loved ones.
From 1979 to 1983, Droupadi Murmu started off by working as a junior assistant at the irrigation department of the Government of Odisha. Then from 1994 to 1997, she worked as a teacher at Sri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research Centre in Rairangpur. Here she taught subjects like Hindi, Odia, Math and Geography.
Droupadi Murmu kicked off her political career by being elected as the councillor of the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat. She contested as an independent candidate for a seat reserved for women. This was followed by her joining the Bharatiya Jananta Party (BJP).
Then from 2000 to 2009, Droupadi Murmu served the Odisha Legislative Assembly for two terms by representing the Rairangpur constituency. Droupadi Murmu was also accorded with the position of Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation from 6 March 2000 to 6 August 2002 Minister of Fisheries and Animal Resources Development from 6 August 2002 to 16 May 2004.
In 2009 when the BJP and BJD coalition ended, Droupadi Murmu lost the Lok Sabha election from Mayurbhanj constituency.
Then on 18th May 2015, Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as the Governor of Jharkhand. She was the first woman to hold this position. The Pathalgadi Movement, the Freedom of Religion Bill and the Land Acquisition Act were some of the major happenings during her six-year long tenure as the Governor.
And then finally on 25th July 2022, Droupadi Murmu was elected as the first citizen of India by defeating opposition’s Yashwant Sinha by a great margin.
A Ray of Hope!!!
The tribal communities of our nation had always been disadvantaged by not letting them of opportunities. Talking about the Santhal tribe, they have had a very dark history of being exploited by zamindars. And today, a woman from the very same community goes on to become the President of the nation. And this just sparks a ray of hope that development reaches to every small village and that everybody irrespective of their caste, colour, creed and religion is granted equal opportunities. Onwards and upwards India….