Droupadi Murmu scripts history, becomes first tribal woman President of India

Draupadi Murmu: Draupadi Murmu has been elected as the 15th President of India on 21st July 2022 and is due to take office on 25th July 2022.

Key Highlights:

  • She is the second woman to occupy the top post in the country.
  • The 64-year-old will be the first tribal woman president of India.
  • She will be succeeding incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • She won the Presidential Election with a majority of 5,77,777 votes, beating the opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.
  • Around 17 MPs cross-voted in favour of Droupadi Murmu in the Presidential elections.
  • The 2022 Indian Presidential Election was the 16th presidential election that was held in India on the 18th of July 2022.

About Draupadi Murmu:

  • She is an Indian politician and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • She was born on June 20, 1958 in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district to a family belonging to the Santhal tribe.
  • She is the first-ever person belonging to a scheduled tribe community to occupy the top post of Indian President and the second person belonging to a scheduled tribe, to be nominated as a candidate for the post of President of India.
  • She started out as a school teacher before entering politics in 1997. 
  • She served as the ninth Governor of Jharkhand from 2015 to 2021.
  • She became India’s first woman tribal governor and the first female tribal leader from Odisha to be appointed as a governor of an Indian state.
  • She also served as the national vice-president of BJP Scheduled Tribes Morcha.
  • She also served as the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation from March 6, 2000- August 6, 2002.
  • As a member of the BJP, she was elected to the state assembly twice i.e., in 2000 and in 2009 from the Rairangpur seat.
  • In 2017, she was awarded the Nilkantha award for the best MLA by Odisha Legislative Assembly.

Family History:

  • Draupadi Murmu’s father and her grandfather were elected as sarpanch under the Panchayati Raj system.
  • She married a banker named Shyam Charan Murmu and had two sons and a daughter. However, in 4 years, she lost her husband and both her sons.

About the Santhal tribes:

  • As per the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI), Bhubaneswar, Santhal, also spelt as Santal, literally means a calm, peaceful man.
  • Santha means calm, and ala means man in the Santhali (also spelt as Santali) language.
  • Santhals are the third largest scheduled tribe community in India after Gonds and Bhils.
  • The SCSTRTI says Santhals were a nomadic stock before they chose to settle in the Chotanagpur plateau.
  • By the end of the 18th century, they had concentrated in the Santhal Parganas of Jharkhand (earlier Bihar).
  • From there, they migrated to Odisha and West Bengal.
  • The Santhali population is mostly distributed in Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.

Santhal Rebellion of 1855-56:

  • The Santhal rebellion also known as Santhal Hool was a revolt by the Santhal in present-day Jharkhand, India, against the British East India Company and the Zamindari System.
  • It began on June 30, 1855, and the East India Company declared martial law on November 10, 1855, which lasted until January 3, 1856, when martial law was lifted.
  • The insurrection was put down by the Presidency soldiers.
  • The revolt was spearheaded by four Murmu Brothers – Sidhu, Kanhu, Chand, and Bhairav.

About the President of India:

  • The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India.
  • The president is the nominal head of the executive, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950.

Note: Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first constitutional head of the state, the President of India.

Who elects President of India?

  • The president is indirectly elected by an electoral college comprising both houses of the Parliament of India and the legislative assemblies of each of India's states and territories, who themselves are all directly elected.

Qualifications to be the Indian President:

The qualifications to be an Indian President are given below:

  • He should be an Indian Citizen.
  • Age limit is a minimum of 35 years.
  • He should qualify the conditions to be elected as a member of the Lok Sabha.
  • He should not hold any office of profit under the central government, state government, or any public authority.

Term of office of President:

  • The President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.