Book Review: ‘Madam President’ by Sandeep Sahu

A must-read biography!

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Book Title: Madam President: The Biography of Droupadi Murmu
Author: Sandeep Sahu
Publisher: Penguin
Number of Pages: 264
ISBN: 978-0143459798
Date Published: Jun. 19, 2023
Price: INR 266

Madam President by Sandeep Sahu Book Cover

Book Review

The captivating biography “Madam President” by Sandeep Sahu recalls the incredible life of Droupadi Murmu, showing her astonishing rise from modest tribal roots to the president of India. This book, published by Penguin Random House India, claims to give an interesting look into the life of India’s first female tribal president. The incredible and adventurous political path of Draupadi Murmu is a story of genuine wonder, endurance, and inspiration. An experienced journalist Sahu gives a well-researched narrative of Murmu’s life, drawing on interviews, personal stories, and historical background.

Murmu’s early work as a teacher at Sri Aurobindo School is explored, as is her eventual entry into politics, where her affiliation with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prepared the path for her ascension to the position of a famous tribal leader. The book focuses on her nomination for the Rairangpur Notified Area Council in 1997, when she became a councilor and vice chairwoman, demonstrating her drive and devotion to public service.

While Murmu’s political successes are highlighted, the book takes a melancholy turn as it tackles the personal losses she faced, including the deaths of her two boys and her husband. Sahu depicts her resilience in surviving these heartbreaking circumstances and her intense spirituality and devotion to serving humanity, notably via her affiliation with the Brahma Kumaris organization. Here, as a reader, the word biography seemed perfect.

The author’s engaging writing style makes it easy for readers to relate to Murmu’s journey, and his journalistic knowledge shines through in the extensive research and attention to detail. The book also provides unique insights into Odisha’s cultural and political backdrop, giving context and depth to the First Citizen’s tale.

Furthermore, the biography provides light on Murmu’s problems as a tribal woman negotiating the governmental world, as well as the impact of her accomplishments on her tribe. The book highlights incidents of sexism and racism aimed against Murmu during her presidential campaign and inauguration, providing a sharp reminder of the work that still needs to be done to eradicate gender prejudices and establish a more inclusive society.

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To summarise, “Madam President” is an engaging homage to Droupadi Murmu’s motivational life story. Sandeep Sahu recounts her journey from humble origins and fortitude in the face of personal tragedy via skillful storytelling. For anyone interested in Indian politics, women’s empowerment, and stories of victory over hardship, this book is a must-read.

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