Book Review: ‘Droupadi Murmu: From Tribal Hinterlands to Raisina Hills’ by Kasturi Ray

The first-hand insightful book about Indian President - Droupadi Murmu.


Book Title: Droupadi Murmu – From Tribal Hinterlands to Raisana Hill
Author: Kasturi Ray
Published By: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-9357022002
Date Published: May 10, 2023
Price: INR 418

Droupadi Murmu From Tribal Hinterlands to Raisina Hill by Kasturi Ray Book Cover

Book Review

Droupadi Murmu: From Tribal Hinterlands to Raisina Hills” chronicles the extraordinary journey of a tribal girl who defied all odds and emerged as a symbol of resilience, determination, and grit. The book is published by Rupa Publications and written by Author Kasturi Ray. She delves into Murmu’s life, recounting her remarkable achievements from her humble beginnings in the village of Uparbeda in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district to her historic appointment as the first female President of India.

Through interviews, data available and meticulous analysis, Ray follows Murmu’s path as she navigates through school, college, and various roles such as a teacher, social worker, councilor, minister, governor of Jharkhand, and ultimately the leader of the nation. The book is divided into seven chapters. Each chapter defines the stages in Murmu’s life. The book also mentions the many things the public isn’t aware of.

Author Kasturi Ray in the narrative, highlights Murmu’s ability to triumph over personal tragedy and recommit herself to serving the marginalized and underprivileged. Droupadi Murmu is a live embodiment of the ‘never give up’ mentality. She is also one of the most humble women today’s generation has witnessed. As hundreds of TV networks broadcasted the announcement of her candidature as the NDA’s (National Democratic Alliance) Presidential candidate, her modest and friendly attitude remained constant, and she proceeded to wash the floors of a Shiv Temple, as she did every day.

Droupadi’s childhood ideals and subsequent political ambitions were always modest. Still, they were thwarted by her conservative neighborhood, which did not believe it was right for a woman to leave the house. She stated in an interview with the TV show ‘Ek Mulakat that she merely intended to study, acquire a regular job, and financially support her family.

She also stated that many rural Indian women want to be educated and provide for their families but are often stymied by false perceptions and biases. Droupadi Murmu, on the other hand, was not one of them. She braved the obstacles and began her profession as a teacher in a public school after marrying Shyam Charan Murmu and having three children.

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Against the backdrop of the nation’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, commemorating 75 years of independence, Murmu’s ascent to power kindled the hopes of millions of oppressed tribal communities and women.

This inspiring book portrays Murmu as a tenacious fighter, unwavering believer, and ultimate victor, leaving behind indelible footprints in the annals of time. The foreword by an iron lady – Kiran Bedi, adds more power to the book. At this juncture, this book is highly recommended to all women, young and old, and others.

The book review was first published in Storizen Magazine May 2023 issue.