What will Draupadi Murmu’s role be in the Hindu Rashtra project?

The RSS-BJP will not only exploit the Adivasi identity of Murmu to the hilt but may also use her as a counterweight to the Adivasi movements asserting their rights over jal, jangal, zameen and other resources, writes Goldy M. George

President Ram Nath Kovind’s term ends on 24 July. The Election Commission of India has scheduled the election for Kovind’s successor for 18 July 2022. The two main contestants in the poll arena are Draupadi Murmu of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, who is the candidate fielded by the Opposition parties. Shortly after the announcement of Murmu’s candidature, a video showing her sweeping the floor of a Shiva temple in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj went viral on social media. That made it amply clear that while the nomination of Murmu as the ruling coalition’s presidential candidate was aimed at giving a symbolic representation to the Adivasis, it was nevertheless an assertion of the core politics of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and a reiteration of its project of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra.

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