Droupadi Murmu becomes India’s first Indigenous President

Droupadi Murmu India's first Indigenous President (PTI Photo)

Droupadi Murmu has become India’s 15th President, and made  history by becoming India’s first indieghous President.

The voting was held on July 18 at the Parliament House and across all state assemblies as 99% of the 4,796 MPs and MLAs casted their votes. The president is elected by India’s elected representatives and is largely a ceremonial role as the power of India’s governments is vested in the Prime MInister and cabinet. The term of the incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind will end on July 24 and his successor will be sworn in on July 25. NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu is pitted against joint Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.

Canada has also recently chosen an indigenous woman, Mary Simon’s as head of state. She was appointed Governor General of Canada who represents Queen Elizabeth who is Canada’s official head of state, although the power of government in Canada is also vested in the Prime Minister and cabinet.

What role can these women symbolic heads of state play in affecting the lives of indigeous peoples in the countries they head? It can certainly raise the importance the issues of indegeous peoples face and women face. What difference it will make, only time will tell.

The Focus will be on Mary Simon as Pope Francis visits Canada to apologize for the treatment of children who died in indigeous residential schools in Canada under the watch of the Catholic Church.

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