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Who is Droupadi Murmu, India’s first President-elect from a tribal community?

by Aiden

Exploring what this means for under-represented communities.

By Shradha Aswani

From being the first woman to serve the state of Jharkhand as a Governor, to now being the second woman and first member of the tribal community to become the President of India, the past few years have seen Droupadi Murmu set flags on many firsts. With a political career spanning over two decades, she is known to be a dignified, mostly quiet woman by those who have interacted with her closely. Her appointment as the highest constitutional authority in India commemorates her win over Yashwant Sinha in the presidential elections by a humungous margin of roughly 64 percent.

NDA-backed Droupadi took her oath over a week ago, embracing her responsibilities as the first Indian president who was born in Independent India. Her vision of speed-tracking progress is the need of the hour, and one can only wait to see what will unfold during her tenure. 

While India is the largest democracy in the world, it is no surprise that the sheer volume of our population back home has made execution difficult time and again. A part of this can be attributed to the fact that authority has been often attributed to the privileged in the past. As a new morning dawns on India with candidates like Droupadi, we hope to be strengthened by policies that are foresightful and implementation that is efficient and effective.

Both women and those from tribal communities have had insufficient representation in Indian politics so far. Droupadi’s election in the current landscape leaves us wondering about the reforms, if any, this shall bring for the marginalised. 

Looking further also leaves one thinking about how this might impact Indian diaspora communities like those living in Thailand. It may be true that not living in the country leaves us out from the line of direct impact, but we can’t negate the fact that our roots shall continue to affect us as a community, for as long as we exist.

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