From Tribal Leader to Presidency

Swami Vivekananda said “every nation has a message to deliver, a mission to fulfil, a destiny to reach. What message will President Droupadi Murmu deliver, what mission she will fulfil and which economic destiny will she inspire India to reach? 

President Droupadi Murmu isn’t a stranger in politics, prior to her presidency she served as the ninth Governor of Jharkhand between the period 2015 and 2021, and she is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), she’s the first person, from the indigenous tribe to be elected as the President of India. As a women and tribal leader President Droupadi Murmu faces great challenges.

Murmu, who is from the Santhal tribe and was born in Eastern Odisha state, paid her respects before her inauguration at a memorial dedicated to India’s independence icon Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi. Murmu is the country’s second female president after Pratibha Patil, who held the position for five years from 2007.

In her speech, Murmu said her election would give hope to the poor and downtrodden who have been left behind despite India’s recent economic growth.

“It is a matter of great satisfaction to me that those who have been deprived for centuries, who have been away from the benefits of development … are seeing their reflection in me,” she said.

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Droupadi knows the challenges that women face on a daily bases in India from feticide, infanticide, domestic violence, acid attacks, honor killings, rape, trafficking and suicide. As thousands and thousands of women look on the President to change the status quo for women in India. Will the President enact policy that will change the lives of women in India?

She also faces the challenge of being a tribal leader, who are faced with poverty, indebtedness, illiteracy, bondage, exploitation, disease and unemployment.

As per tradition her 100 days in office will be critical, considering she inheriting the success and failures of the previous president, and how will these dynamics play out  according to Sanusha Naidu a foreign policy analysis at Institute for Global Dialogue outlines some of the dynamics said “

In the Indian context the presidential position is a ceremonial one, unless they are challenges where parliament can’t find consensus, that’s where her office will take some kind of traction, at the moment she will be lead by the Prime Minister Mudi. (some political analyst say that Mudi’s trying to expend his influence to his re-election in 2024) he seems to have more power in how he defines his Priministership, and the countries policy if there’s uncertainty then the coalition will become a deadlock.

Sanusha continues to cite that the challenges are in terms of cast system is that she takes the reigns from the previous president who comes from the lowest cast denominations, of the balat community in terms of the Hindu’s complex cast system. This position in India is seen as some form of representation at that level of presidency.

A lot of her work will be centered on education and schooling system. It’s not automatic that they will be gender component. It is going to be c complex issue because the position itself is not an executive power position. It’s a ceremonial position unless there’s deadlock, unless there’s political uncertainty.

Can the president inspire economic and bilateral growth between India and South Africa?  Mr Praveer Tripati president of Indian Business Forum in South Africa expect trade in two countries to grow and they welcome any intervention to increase  trade and economic relationship between the two countries. The Indian Business Forum in South Africa pointed out a few challenges that are preventing two countries to enhance trade and investment.

Praveer Tripati pointed out that previously they was direct airline connectivity between the two countries, as time progressed the ecosystem was stopped. To enhance economic activity a direct airline needs to be restored. When asked about trade related challenges Mr Tripati highlighted that India wanted a Preferential Trade Agreement with South Africa however SACU (Southern African Customs Union) has delayed the process and agreement to take place.

Can President Droupadi Murmu, deliver a message, that will outline the challenges between India and South Africa Trade and Investments and have a mission that will seek to restore the economic potential of India and South Africa. 

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