In a speech after being sworn in as India’s first tribal president, Draupadi Murmu spoke about his humble beginnings and the Santhal revolution. His brother wore Arisa pitha, a traditional sweet for Murmu, and his sister-in-law gave him a Jhal sari, worn by Santhal women on occasion.
Draupadi Murmu is sworn in as the 15th President of India. She is the youngest and first tribal president of India
President Draupadi Murmu made history by swearing in the highest constitutional office in the country today. Aged 64, he is the youngest in the country and the first tribal president. The swearing-in ceremony started at 10:15 a.m. in the Central Hall of Parliament, where Chief Justice of India NV Ramana was sworn in.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and S Jaishankar, Deputy Chairman and Chairman of Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu, Chairman of Lok Sabha Om Birla, Cabinet Members, Governors, Chief Ministers, heads of diplomatic missions, deputies and principal civil and military officers attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Only the second woman to become president, Murmu added a personal touch to the ceremony. She belongs to the Santhal tribe (also spelled as Santals), the third largest listed tribal community in India after the Gonds and Bhils, who are spread across Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The home district of Murmu in the Mayurbhanj of Odisha has one of the largest concentrations of the tribe. At the momentous ceremony held today, there were many reminders of her roots.
Addressing the nation after being sworn in as India’s 15th President, Murmu said she was honored to take charge as India completes 75 years of independence. She added that she was the first president to be born in independent India.
Speaking in Hindi, Murmu spoke of her humble beginnings and said her swearing in as president was a victory for India’s poor. “Achieving the post of president is not my personal achievement, it is the achievement of all the poor in India.”
“It is the power of our democracy that a girl born in a poor house, a girl born in a remote tribal area, can rise to the highest constitutional office in India,” she added. devoid of development for years – the poor, the Dalits, the backward and the tribals – can see me as their reflection. My nomination has the blessings of the poor behind it, it is a reflection of the dreams and capacities of millions of women.
Murmu spoke about the contributions of Indian tribes in the struggle for freedom. “From the Santhal Revolution to the Paika Revolution to the Kol Revolution to the Bhil Revolution, the contribution of the tribes has strengthened India’s freedom struggle. We were inspired by the sacrifice of ‘Dharti Aaba’ Lord Birsa Munda ji for social upliftment and patriotism,” she said.
The Jhal saree
Murmu’s sister-in-law Sukri Tudu wore a special Santhali saree for her. The Jhal saree as it is called is designed with patterns of birds, fish, flowers, leaves and animals, reports Hindustan time.
Santhali women wear these handwoven sarees on special occasions.
“I am wearing a traditional Santali sari for Didi (older sister)…. I don’t know what she will actually wear on the occasion. The Rashtrapati Bhawan will decide on the attire of the new president,” Sukri told l ‘Press Agency. PTI the day before the ceremony.
Murmu was seen wearing a white saree with green and red trim while taking the oath. She traveled to Rajgath to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi ahead of the event.
The Santhal tribe believes that there is a connection between animals and humans and so you will find images of animals in their artworks, sarees, etc. The Murmu clan to which the president belongs is represented by the Nilgai, the largest antelope in Asia. It is believed that the ancestors of this clan hunted the first animals which turned out to be an antelope or, they are the first animals sacrificed by the Santhals. Therefore, they are of great importance for their culture, according to The trombonean independent digital publication.
Murmu’s brother, Tarinisen Tudu, and his sister-in-law, who left for New Delhi on Saturday, also brought traditional sweets to the president. Arisa pitha, a sweet pancake, and Guda pitha, made with jaggery, are Chef Santhal’s favourites.
Relatives, friends and tribal leaders
Murmu’s family was at the ceremony. Besides his brother and sister-in-law, his daughter Itishree and son-in-law Ganesh were also present in Parliament. Some childhood friends of Murmu were also expected.
Six tribal deputies of Bharatiya Janata party from Mayurbhanj district and three members of Rairangpur branch of Ishwariya Prajapati Brahmakumari – Brahma Kumari Supriya, Brahma Kumari Basanti and Brahma Kumar Govind – attended the ceremony. Doing Rajyoga with the help of Brahmakumari institutions helped Murmu overcome some personal tragedies – the loss of two sons and her husband.
Odisha CM at the ceremony
Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Chairman Naveen Patnaik met Murmu on Sunday to congratulate her. He also attended the swearing-in ceremony.
“I am so happy and honored that a girl from Odisha has been chosen as President of India,” the news agency said. ANI quoted Patnaik as saying.
Patnaik was accompanied by BJP MPs during Sunday’s visit. He praised Murmu for coming from a humble background to occupy the highest post in the country. It is “an inspiring and shining example of female empowerment”, he told the media.
With contributions from agencies
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