Why NDA’s Presidential Nominee Draupadi ‘Jhi’ Is More Than The Sum Of Her Various Roles

India looks all set to create history with the first Indian tribal woman poised to sit in the chair of the President of the world's largest democracy. But 64-year-old Draupadi Murmu's life is a humongous portrait of how to achieve success against all odds. From being ‘Draupadi Jhi' for the kids of her native Mahuldeeha Tola to first becoming a local Councillor in the Rairangpur tehsil in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district and later the first woman Governor of Jharkhand, ‘Draupadi Di', as she is affectionately called by the young and the old around her, is much more than just a modern tribal icon. https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/1539894578848813056?t=Sr2s6AyUmxl9Om4tkdu-Hw&s=19 On Friday, she will file her nomination papers as the presidential nominee of NDA, and before that she met
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Thursday. Reacting to her nomination, she had told PTI from her Rairangpur residence, "I am surprised as well as delighted. As a tribal woman from remote Mayurbhanj district, I had not thought about becoming the candidate for the top post." Her words aren't mere display of humility in wake of the unprecedented attention that her candidature has invited in the media circles. She is a sincere public figure and has remained closer to her roots ever since she was first elected Ward Councillor in the year 1998. Even though she has remained active in politics ever since then, and rose to the position of the Transport minister in the state, she doesn't own any house anywhere except in her native Mahuldeeha Tola. Life continues as usual for 64-year-old Draupadi Murmu, who paid a visit to the local temple and cleaned it herself with the help of a broom. However, that doesn't mean that the spotlight isn't on her. Her younger brother, Tarini Sen, is elated at her nomination. He tells the press gleefully that by the grace of Lord Jagannath, the whole India will now be like one, big family for them. He informs that about 30 years ago, his ‘Draupadi Di' was working as a clerk in the state irrigation department. In her personal life, Murmu has seen tragedy up close. She got married to Sh. Shyam Charan Murmu, with whom she had two sons and one daughter. Unfortunately, she lost both her sons as well as her husband, but she didn't allow the circumstances to get the better of her. She kept working hard as a public servant and in due course of time, entered active politics. Gradually, she kept climbing the steps of politics along with public service, never once forgetting where she belonged. Her brother narrates more about this aspect of her personality. He says, "Didi has always been someone who lets her work speak for itself. Even as the Governor of Jharkhand, she used to be involved in the cleanliness activities around her. Once, the storm drain outside her home got blocked during rains. She didn't hesitate even for a second before getting down and start cleaning it." Murmu's daughter, Itishree, herself a mother of two, who lives with her mother, perhaps wraps it up the best when she says, "My mother's life has been an open book. She is an industrious, hard working woman who has fulfilled all her responsibilities with utmost honesty." On the question of the support from the opposition, she speaks clearly, "Everybody will support my mother if they come to know her." Today, India looks on with hope in her eyes for a bright future of social justice, a future in which an egalitarian society isn't a Utopian concept any longer!
Next Story