Droupadi Murmu is the currently elected (2022) first female aboriginal president of India. She belongs to a humble background but has achieved an extraordinary feat of becoming the serving head of the country. With an Adivasi leader in place, the times seems to be changing. Surely, we all must be curious about this woman political leader who became the President of India in 2022. People’s search history might be filled with questions like : Droupadi Murmu’s family, Droupadi Murmu’s husband, Droupadi Murmu’s biography and many more.
This is the reason we will be talking about “who is Droupadi Murmu“, her “biography” and trace her “personal and professional lives and her political journey that she undertook, in this article.
So, without delaying any further, let us start with our reading journey!
Who is Droupadi Murmu?
Smt. Droupadi Murmu is the current and 15th President of India (2022). She was sworn in as the President on 25th July, 2022 after winning the presidential elections against the joint opposition’s nominee, Yashwant Sinha. She is the first ever tribal woman to become a President and the second female after Pratibha Patil to have secured the position. Her journey to being the President of India involved her holding different political positions in the cabinet of Government of Odisha.
She is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party that upholds the ideals of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). Murmu was a teacher before starting her political career in 1997. She received the prestigious “Nilakantha Award” in 2007 for being the best MLA of the year. Murmu is the only Indian President who was born after India’s independence in 1947.
Dropadi Murmu’s Personal Life
- Droupadi Murmu was born to Biranchi Narayan Tudu on June 20 1958 as Puti Tudu. Her name was later changed by her school teacher and replaced with Droupadi. Several variations of her name were later adopted like Durpadi, Dorpdi etc. She was born in Uparbeda village of Mayurbhanj district in Rairangpur, Odisha and belongs to a Santhal tribal family. Her father Biranchi Narayan Tudu was a farmer and along side her grandfather were traditional heads of the village council.
- Murmu completed her education from Ramadevi Women’s University, Bhubaneswar where she pursued Bachelor of Arts. She was always a remarkable student as her aunt recalls.
- Droupadi Murmu married a banker, Shyam Charan Murmu in 1980. She had two sons and a daughter with her husband. In a matter of 7 years, her mother, husband, sons and brother were dead. While Murmu’s husband died from a cardiac arrest, her eldest son, Laxman Murmu died under mysterious circumstances. In 2009 the 25 year old was found unconscious in his bed and later declared dead. Her second son passed away four years later in a road accident.
- In Droupadi Murmu’s family, her daughter Itishree Murmu is the only surviving child. The latter is a banker at UCO Bank in Odisha and is married to Ganesh Hembram who is a rugby player. Droupadi Murmu is a soft-spoken and spiritual person who is engaged with the spiritual movement of the Brahma Kumaris and is a keen practitioner of their meditation techniques. She embraced the philosophies of the Brahma Kumaris after she lost many of her close ones.
Droupadi Murmu’s Early Professional Life
Droupadi Murmu served as a clerk (junior assistant) in the State Irrigation and Power Department between 1979 to 1983. In 1997 she was appointed as an assistant professor in Sri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research Centre in Rairangpur. In the school, she taught various subjects like Odia, Hindi, Geography and Maths.
Droupadi Murmu’s Political Career
- Droupadi Murmu’s political career started in 1997 when she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was made councilor of the district board in Rairangpur. Later, she became the vice-chairman of Rangpur NAC and the vice-president of BJP’s state ST morcha.
- During the coalition led government of BJP and BJD (Biju Janata Dal) she became a member of the Legislative assembly in 2000 from Rairangpur and received the portfolio of minister of state (Odisha) in the transport and commerce and animal husbandry departments.
- Two years later (2002) Droupadi Murmu became the national executive member of the BJP’s ST morcha. She became an MLA for the second time in 2004. She progressed through her career from vice-president, national executive member to becoming the state president of ST morcha in 2006.
- She became the BJP’s district president in her hometown district of Mayurbhanj in 2010. In 2013, she was re-appointed in the same position. After serving as the BJP district president for 4 years, she was appointed as the first tribal governor of Jharkhand on May 18 2015. Murmu was the first tribal woman of India to have been appointed for the position. Her tenure lasted for 6 years from May 2015 till July 2021.
- While serving as the Governor of Jharkhand Murmu declined the bill that was approved by the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly that demanded making considerable amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908 and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act 1949. As per the acts, only tribal communities can sell their lands to the members of their community. However, amendments were sought by the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly which allowed the government to commercially use these lands and even take lands on lease. Murmu returned both the bill and 192 memorandums she received against the amendments, to the government of Jharkhand.
Droupadi Murmu’s Appointment for the Presidential Elections
- In 2022, Murmu contested for the presidential elections as a NDA candidate against joint opposition’s nominee and UPA candidate, Yashwant Sinha. She bagged 6,76,803 votes against his opposition’s 3,80,177 votes. She was declared winner by the Returning officer PC Mody after fourth round of counting. Thus, the President of India 2022 secured 64.03 % votes against 36% obtained by Yashwant Sinha. In the third round itself, the NDA candidate successfully gathered two-thirds of the votes. Many political members from other parties like the Biju Janata Dal, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Shiv Sena etc have cross-voted for her. There is a rough estimate that a minimum of 12 Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh have cross-voted for Droupadi Murmu.
- Droupadi Murmu received the maximum number of votes from Parliamentarians and states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and secured the least from Kerala. She also gained support from the MLAs of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland etc.
- Yashwant Sinha conceded defeat even before the declaration of the appointed President for India was made. He congratulated Droupadi Murmu on her big win and hopes that the representative will serve as the “custodian of the Constitution” without any fear or favor. He even added a philosophical note from Bhagwat Gita about doing one’s duty without attachment to success or failure.
Droupadi Murmu as the First Aboriginal President of India
- Droupadi Murmu sworn in as the 15th President of India on 25th July 2022. She took oath of office on the Central Hall of Parliament which was administered by the Chief Justice of India, Mr. N.V. Ramana.
- Many political leaders claimed to have voted for her for several reasons, one of them being she is an Adivasi who can better be a voice for all the aboriginal communities. Moreover, these legislators or MLAs claim that they incline towards Murmu because their conscience permitted them to do so. They even hailed Murmu as “daughter of Odisha” or the “daughter of the soil” and voted in her favor.
- Like the first woman President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil, she too expresses her admiration for history’s renowned national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and B.R Ambedkar.
Women Presidents of India
There are only two women president’s of India uptill 2022. They are: Pratibha Patil and recently appointed Droupadi Murmu. Let us take a quick glimpse at our preceding woman President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil:
- Smt. Pratibha Patil was born on December 19, 1934 in Maharashtra and was elected as the 12th President of India on 25 July, 2007. She was first appointed as a MLA which was followed by becoming a member of the Parliament, Governor of Rajasthan and finally assumed office as the first woman President of India. Her tenure lasted 5 years from 25 July 2007 to 25 July 2012.
- She completed her Bachelor of Law from Government Law College, Bombay (now Mumbai) and was a practising lawyer at the Jalgaon District Court.
- As the President of India, she chiefly focused on education, women empowerment, rural development and worked on environmental issues. Great Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar are Pratibha Patil’s inspirations. A decade later, Droupadi Murmu, another woman became the second President of India.
FAQs about Droupadi Murmu
Q 1. Who became the currently elected President of India in 2022?
Answer: Droupadi Murmu became the currently elected President of India in 2022.
Q 2. Where does Draupadi Murmu hail from?
Answer: Draupadi Murmu hails from Baidaposi region of Rairangpur in Odisha.
Q 3. Who is the husband of Draupadi Murmu?
Answer: Shyam Charan Murmu was the husband of Draupadi Murmu who passed away in 2014 from a heart attack.
Q 4. Which award did Draupadi Murmu receive?
Answer: Droupadi Murmu received the “Nilakantha Award” in 2007 for serving as the best MLA of the year.
Many men of politics have called the newly appointed President of India as a “rubber stamp” President, a reduced puppeteer at the hands of the BJP and RSS leaders. However, this is not something new as previous Presidents were claimed to be rubber stamp Presidents as well. For now, we shouldn’t underestimate Droupadi Murmu’s potential, power and progress. We can only hope that she brings development and growth to several sectors, contribute to the society at large and as an Adivasi is able to uplift the backward section of the society.
Hopefully, this article is able to discuss well on Droupadi Murmu’s biography or who is Droupadi Murmu”. We further hope the content has been an engaging read and able to relay well Droupadi Murmu’s personal, professional and political career. Although her political expedition started in 1997, we can conclude that her journey is hereforth to start with.