India’s First President from Marginalised Tribal Communities Inaugurated

Morning StarIndia’s newly elected president Droupadi Murmu greets the crowd gathered at her temporary residence in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 21, 2022.

DROUPADI MURMU was sworn in as India’s president today, the first head of state to come from the country’s tribal communities.

She was elected to the largely ceremonial position last week, winning 64 per cent of the votes cast by Indian parliamentarians and state assemblies.

The former school teacher paid tribute to independence icon Mahatma Gandhi prior to her inauguration in New Delhi.

“I started my life journey from a small tribal village,” Ms Murmu said after taking the oath of office.

“From the background I come from, it was like a dream for me to even get elementary education,” she added.

“But despite many obstacles, my resolve remained strong and I became the first daughter from my village to go to college.”

Ms Murmu won the election with the support of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies.

It is believed her victory will be a boost for authoritarian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and see him gain support in India’s rural community ahead of the 2024 elections.

He described her presidency as “a watershed moment” for the poor and downtrodden.

Ms Murmu is the country’s second female president after Pratibha Patil, who held the position for five years from 2007.