Droupadi Murmu may wear traditional Santhali saree for swearing-in ceremony
When President-elect Droupadi Murmu takes the oath of office in New Delhi on Monday, she may don a traditional Santhali saree. Sukri Tudu, her sister-in-law, is reportedly traveling to Delhi with a rare saree worn by Santhal ladies in Eastern India. Sukri and her husband, Tarinisen Tudu, traveled to Delhi on Saturday to watch Monday's oath-taking ceremony scheduled at the historic Parliament's central hall.
- On Thursday, Droupadi Murmu was elected as the 15th President of India by defeating the Opposition's joint candidate, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, by a huge margin.
- Murmu, the 64-year-old ex-Jharkhand governor, was facing a lone but strategic contest from Sinha.
- Her election was almost certain as the BJP-led NDA had the support of the required number of MPs and MLAs to back Murmu.
"I'm carrying a Santhali traditional saree for 'Didi' (elder sister) and pray she will wear it during the oath-taking," Sukri stated. I'm not sure what she will actually wear on the occasion. The Rashtrapati Bhawan will decide the dress of the new president," she added. Murmu will be the second woman after Pratibha Patil to hold the country's highest constitutional post.
Santhali sarees have striped work on one side and are worn on special occasions by Santhal women. These sarees are vertically symmetrical and contain the same designs on both ends. Sukri, who lives in Uparbeda village in Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj district with her spouse and family members, said she is also bringing traditional sweet pancakes known as 'Arisa Pitha' for Murmu.
Meanwhile, Murmu's bank officer daughter, Itishree, and her spouse, Ganesh Hembram, have arrived in New Delhi and are residing with the President-elect. According to a senior BJP leader, "only four members of the President-elect's family will attend the oath-taking ceremony—brother, sister-in-law, daughter, and son-in-law," and the spirit of 'Adivasi' culture and custom may be reflected in the country's 15th President's inauguration.
Murmu, 64, comes from a modest tribal family in Uparbeda village near Rairangpur and has worked his way up from counselor to MLA, minister, and Jharkhand Governor to becoming elected President of India. Even on Saturday, celebrations were held by distributing sweets across Odisha. Naveen Patnaik, Odisha CM, and BJD president left Saturday for a four-day trip to Delhi to attend Murmu's swearing-in ceremony.
Murmu, belonging to the Santhal ethnicity, was the first woman to be sworn in as the Jharkhand Governor in 2015. She was also the first tribal woman from her home state of Odisha to become governor. She is the first tribal woman to be chosen as a presidential candidate and has now won the right to become India's highest constitutional postholder.