June 6, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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India elects first tribal woman as president amid attacks on her race | World | T.W.

Murmu will achieve that if the lax arithmetic of a government accused of attacking this very community comes to pass. A panel of parliamentarians will today vote between Murmu and the opposition candidate, veteran politician and former minister Yashwant Sinha, for India’s new president, and the results will be announced next Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), chose a tribal woman in a nod to this marginalized community, which represents 8.6% of the population. Formation between two national houses and regional parliaments with sufficient votes.

Symbolic power, but important

Is there any benefit to the adivasi or tribal community in having someone from their own ranks as the president of the country? Small, beyond symbolic value.

Professor Harish S. of the Center for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). According to Wankhede, appointing a person from a historically disadvantaged community as a Murmu is part of the historical heritage of Indian democracy.

“India does not have very strong class policies against poverty, marginalization or exploitation, but what we call social justice policies, above all designed to symbolically invite people from marginalized communities into political circles,” he explained.

Murmu belongs to the Santhal tribe

Murmu, 64, was born into a family belonging to the Santhal ethnic community in eastern Odisha state and will become the first tribal woman president.

But despite the great prestige the post confers, it is still a decorative post in a country where real power rests with the prime minister, so this historic BJP and former teacher’s ability to influence the government is limited.

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As Modi highlighted after announcing his candidacy for the presidential race, his humble appearance is an inspiring element for “millions of people, especially those who have experienced poverty and faced difficulties”.

Electoral weight of the discriminated

The current President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, belongs to the marginalized Dalit or “untouchable” community, the lowest rung of the Hindu caste system and 16% of the 1,250 million people living in India as of the 2011 census.

Govind rose to the “highest level in the country” in 2017 as per the BJP’s proposal, which along with Murmu’s candidacy now speaks to the growing weight of the most backward sections of society in the electoral math. “Both communities have not changed much in their social and class positions, but as a political force they have a significant impact on Indian politics,” Wankhede said.

After 5 years of Govind’s presidency and BJP’s victory in 2014 elections, has the situation of Dalits changed? According to the university professor, something small.

“A large part of the population (tribals and dalits) is still living in dire and dangerous conditions of unemployment, illiteracy, poverty (…) It is important to remember that conditions have improved somewhat, but most of them still live in terrible conditions. . “, lamented.

jov (efe, Times of India)