Delhi, July 25 2022: Addressing the nation after being sworn in as the 15th President of India, Droupadi Murmu Monday stated that she was honoured to take charge at a time India is completing 75 years of Independence. She added that she was the first President to be born in independent India. She also said, “My election is the greatness of India, mother of democracy.”Dressed in a white saree with a green-and-red border, Droupadi Murmu took oath as the 15th President of India. Murmu revealed that her first name ‘Droupadi’ – based on a character from the epic ‘Mahabharata’ – is not her original name. The name ‘Droupadi’, in fact, was given by her school teacher. In an interview with the magazine reporter, Murmu said her Santhali name is ‘Puti’ and that it had been changed to ‘Droupadi’ by a teacher who hailed from another district, not from my native Mayurbhanj. Teachers in the tribal-dominated Mayurbanjh district used to travel from either Balasore or Cuttack in the 1960s, she told the magazine.”The teacher did not like my previous name and changed it for good,” Murmu said, adding her name had been changed several times – from ‘Durpadi’ to ‘Dorpdi’ and other variations.
Names do not die in Santhali culture, Murmu said in the interview. “If a girl is born, she takes the name of her grandmother, while a son carries his grandfather’s nomenclature.”Droupadi Murmu also said her surname had been ‘Tudu’ in schools and colleges, and that she started using the title ‘Murmu’ after her marriage to Shyam Charan Tudu, a bank officer.
Murmu on Monday took an oath in Hindi to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law’. The swearing-in ceremony was marked by pomp and grandeur.
It began with the arrival of two presidents – the outgoing Ram Nath Kovind and the incoming Droupadi Murmu – in a procession from Rashtrapati Bhavan to the Parliament building. After the short ceremony, Murmu and Kovind were escorted out of the Central Hall amid the roll of drums and blowing of trumpets.
She was given a 21-gun salute after which she signed the oath register amid thunderous applause and thumping of desks. At the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the new President then inspected the tri-services guard of honour.