Droupadi Murmu takes oath as 15th President of India

Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India’s 15th President at an impressive ceremony in the packed and historic Central Hall of Parliament

July 25, 2022 02:57 pm | Updated 08:19 pm IST - New Delhi

India’s 15th President Droupadi Murmu signs a register after taking oath in the Central Hall of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, July 25, 2022.

India’s 15th President Droupadi Murmu signs a register after taking oath in the Central Hall of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, July 25, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Droupadi Murmu took oath of office as the 15th President of India on Monday and created history by being the first tribal head of State and the second woman to occupy the country’s highest constitutional post.

“That I attained the post of President is not my personal achievement, it is the achievement of every poor person in India. My election is a proof of the fact that the poor in India can have dreams and fulfil them too."said Madam President after being sworn in by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana at Parliament’s Central Hall.

Ms Murmu, who succeeds Ram Nath Kovind, is India’s youngest President at 64 and the first to be born after Independence.

She took her oath of office in Hindi and in the name of God to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law".

“It is a tribute to the power of our democracy that a daughter born in a poor house in a remote tribal area can reach the highest constitutional position in India. That I attained the post of President is not my personal achievement, it is the achievement of every poor person in India,” she said in her address, marking her journey from Odisha’s Mayurbhanj – one of the most underdeveloped districts in India-- to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Former President Ram Nath Kovind, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and CJI Ramana were on the dais while other dignitaries including former President of India Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seated in the front row seat of the historic Central Hall.

Prime Minister Modi said that Ms Murmu assuming the Presidency is a “watershed moment” for the “poor,marginalised and downtrodden”.

"In her address after taking oath, President Droupadi Murmu Ji gave a message of hope and compassion. She emphasised on India's accomplishments and presented a futuristic vision of the path ahead at a time when India is marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,"Mr Modi said.

Also read: Address by Droupadi Murmu on her assumption of office as President of India 

The day began with outgoing President Kovind and Ms Murmu arriving in a majestic procession from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the Parliament Building, escorted by the horse-mounted President’s Bodyguards.

India’s new president was given a 21-gun salute after which she signed the oath register amid thunderous applause and thumping of desks.

Following the short ceremony, Ms Murmu and Mr Kovind were escorted out of the Central Hall amid the roll of drums and blowing of trumpets. After a national salute by the President's Bodyguard at Gate No 5 of the Parliament, the new President and her predecessor left in a ceremonial procession back to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Under an overcast Delhi sky and the route from from Parliament up the Raisina Hill to the Rashtrapati Bhavan lined by personnel from Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force, the presidential convoy made its way slowly.

The new commander-in-chief of the armed forces inspected a tri-services guard of honour in the forecourt of the Rashtrpati Bhavan.

Former President Kovind and his family, who moved to their new address of 12 Janpath bungalow in Lutyens Delhi, were given a formal send-off by the Prime Minister and other dignitaries as well as the Rashtrapati Bhavan staff.

Mr Murmu’s speech in the Central Hall laid down her vision of sabka prayas (everyone's effort) and sabka kartavya (everyone's duty) to fulfil the expectations of freedom fighters and citizens of independent India.

Starting out as BJP councillor in Odisha’s Rairangpur Notified Area Council in 1997, she became a minister in Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government in the State between 2000 and 2004.

Ms Murmu had contested the 2014 Assembly election from Rairangpur but lost to the BJD candidate.

A year later, in 2015, she was appointed Governor of Jharkhand and stayed in the post till 2021.

The unassuming tribal leader is believed to be deeply spiritual and a follower of meditation techniques of the Brahma Kumaris, a movement she embraced after she lost close family members including her husband, two sons and mother just in a span of six years (2009-2015).

Her daughter, Itishree, is a bank employee in Odisha.

In honour of her remarkable journey through personal tragedies and triumphs, there were celebrations in several places including her home state of Odisha as well as Jharkhand.

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