Who are Santhals, tribe Droupadi Murmu belongs to?
Droupadi Murmu is the first tribal President of India
Murmu was the first person from her parental village to attend college
She belongs to the Santhal tribe
Droupadi Murmu emerged as India's 15th President on July 21, succeeding Ram Nath Kovind as the country's first citizen. In the first round among 748 MP votes, the 64-year-old received 540, compared to her opposition, Yashwant Sinha, who received 208.
Murmu has now become the first tribal President of India. She belongs to the Santhal tribe, who are the third largest scheduled tribe community in India after Gonds and Bhils.
Murmu was born in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district in 1958. She was the first governor to complete a full five-year term since Jharkhand was formed in 2000.
Who are the Santhals?
Also spelt as Santhal, the word means calm and peaceful man. The 'ala' stands for man in the Santhali, also spelt as Santali, language.
The tribe population is distributed across Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. Murmu's home district, Mayurbhanj, has a dense concentration of the Santhali people.
Rairangpur, where Murmu has lived for many years, began celebrating Murmu's win as the votes were being counted. As per the state government's website for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI), the Santhals were nomadic before they settled in the Chotanagpur plateau. They were initially concentrated in the Santhal Parganas of Jharkhand, which is ancient Bihar. The migration to Odisha and West Bengal happened later.
Santhals, however, unlike other tribes outside the Northeast, have a high literacy rate. Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren is a Santhal. Girsh Chandra Murmu, the current Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAGI) and first Lt Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, is also from the tribe.
The traditional dress of the Santhals includes dhoti and gamuchha for men and a short-check saree for women. They play musical instruments like kamak, dhol, sarangi and flutes and usually perform folk dance at all community events and celebrations.
Santhals mainly depend on agriculture for livelihood. Their homes are called Olah. The outer walls are painted in a particular three-colour pattern.