‘Johar!’ began President Droupadi Murmu’s first presidential address. That word, a tribal greeting, marked a milestone in the history of the nation and a new direction in its politics.
Droupadi Murmu: From Tribal Hinterlands to Raisina Hills encapsulates the journey of a tribal girl who defied all odds to grow up into an institution signifying resilience, determination and grit. Charting a path less travelled, Murmu carved out many firsts, right from stepping out of the nondescript village Uparbeda in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha to becoming the First Citizen of India.
Through interviews and detailed analysis, journalist Kasturi Ray tracks Murmu’s life, following her through school and college, from being a teacher to social worker, councillor to minister, from taking charge as the governor of Jharkhand to becoming the president—a tale of incredible resilience and dedication to service. She narrates how Murmu was able to overcome personal tragedy and return to her commitment to helping the people and giving a voice to the downtrodden and underserved.
In the seventy-fifth year of Independence, when the nation celebrated Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, she was chosen to lead the country, raising the hopes of millions of the downtrodden, tribals and women. The book traces her footprints in the sands of time as a fighter, believer and winner and narrates an inspiring journey.
About The Author – Kasturi Ray has been a journalist for over 28 years with a large body of work in print, broadcast and digital media. Currently the senior news editor at The New Indian Express, Bhubaneswar, she was the features editor of the media house for 19 years before moving on to the fast-paced and ever-growing digital space. She served as the senior editor of English digital platform of Odisha Television Limited for over three years. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, she has also written for Firstpost and The Quint besides serving the Women’s Features Service and the Asian Age. A SAWM-UNICEF fellow for reporting on development journalism, she is currently pursuing her doctorate in English literature on the topic of journalists being life narrators from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar.
She is a visiting faculty at the Birla Global University in Bhubaneswar and has received many awards and accolades, including the Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity (East) 2013–14 and Aryaa Awards for excellence in journalism 2016–17.