NEW DELHI: India elected on Thursday a feminine politician from a tribal group as its new president, giving new visibility to a considerable minority group that has lengthy been marginalized.
Droupadi Murmu, 64, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Occasion from the japanese state of Odisha, belongs to the Santhal tribe, one of many largest of India’s roughly 700 acknowledged tribes, which make up about 9 % of the nation’s greater than 1.4 billion inhabitants.
Modi took to social media to announce Murmu’s win, as election fee outcomes confirmed that she had secured a majority of the votes solid by lawmakers from each homes of the parliament and the legislative assemblies of every of India’s states and territories.
“Congratulations to Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji on this feat,” the prime minister mentioned in a Twitter submit.
“India scripts historical past. At a time when 1.3 billion Indians are marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a daughter of India hailing from a tribal group born in a distant a part of japanese India has been elected our President!”
Murmu is the second girl after Pratibha Devisingh Patil to function Indian president and can take over from incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind, whose time period expires on July 25.
She competed for the submit with opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha, who was a senior BJP chief earlier than he left the get together in 2018, following a divergence with Modi on financial points. Sinha, 84, had served because the nation’s finance minister through the earlier BJP authorities from 1998 to 2002, and because the international minister between 2002 and 2004.
Murmu’s presence within the presidential position has been anticipated to spice up the BJP’s efforts to win tribal voters in state elections in Gujarat this yr, and in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh subsequent yr. The 4 states account for almost a half of India’s tribal inhabitants.
However for Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a Delhi-based author and analyst specialised in Hindu nationalist politics, the victory is not going to essentially translate into electoral positive factors.
“Her victory shouldn’t be important for the tribals of the nation. It’s tokenism,” he instructed Arab Information. “It’s not a game-changer for Modi. It places opposition events in a number of difficulties as a result of it enabled the BJP to say that you’re not supporting a tribal girl who confronted an upper-caste Hindu man, Yashwant Sinha, as her opponent. However past that it’s not going to assist Modi.”
Mukhopadhyay was additionally skeptical in regards to the impression Murmu’s presidency can have on tribal communities, which belong to the bottom strata of India’s caste hierarchy, because the Indian presidency is a largely ceremonial submit as a result of all government authority is held by the prime minister.
“It is going to actually not assist them in enhancing their lot,” Mukhopadhyay mentioned. “Now we have seen that within the final 5 years that the state of marginalized folks remained the identical.”
The Indian presidency is a ceremonial position. The first obligation of the Indian president is to protect the structure, appoint the chief justice or legal professional basic. The president can be the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces, and may declare warfare or conclude peace.
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