“Mysticals, Mysticals! There has been a huge development in India,” exclaimed Verum, “Last week, the South Asian country elected Droupadi Murmu as President. Murmu is the first tribal leader to hold this prestigious post and the 15th President of India!”

“What do you mean by a tribal leader, Verum?” said Scorch, “And how important is the President of India?”

“Murmu is from the state of Odisha where she belongs to an indigenous tribe called the Santhal community. It is one of the largest tribal communities in India. It is a ‘Scheduled Tribe’ (ST). People from this group come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds,” explained Verum, “It is a big deal that someone from this group has become the President, the head of the state of India.”

“So, does the President of India have a lot of powers?” said Felix.

“Not quite,” replied Verum, “The President is the titular head of India. They don’t have any executive power, that is, the power to make and change laws.

The President is elected by both the houses of the Indian Parliament: the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha as well as the legislative assemblies of the 28 states and 8 Union Territories.

Murmu was the candidate of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), which is also the party in power currently. She secured a majority against the Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.

Did you know that Murmu was a teacher? She taught at the Sri Aurobindo Integral School in Rairangpur, Odisha, but she refused to take a salary. Why? For her, it wasn’t a job but a public service that she had undertaken.

In 1997, Murmu entered politics when she was elected as a councilor in the local election in Rairangpur. She had a hands-on approach to the work of administration. Over the years, she has served as a minister in Odisha’s government, BJP’s state wing for Scheduled Tribes, and governor of the neighboring state of Jharkhand.

And now, Murmu has been elected as the President of India. She will swear into the post today on July 25.”

“That’s an inspiring story,” said Orak.