India has elected their newest president, Ram Nath Kovind, a politician who hails from the lowest “untouchable” class in India’s discriminatory caste system.
Kovind, 71, is a member of the “Dalit”, which means oppressed class in Sanskrit. A politician of the Dalit class hasn’t served in office since 1997 when Kocheril Raman Narayanan served as the tenth president of India.
Kovind was nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), one of the two major political parties of India.
While seeing a member of the less-fortunate at the highest seat of power is uncommon, it’s even more surprising that the opposing candidate Meira Kumar is also a “Dalit.” According to NBC, it’s the first time that both electoral finalists are members of the “oppressed”.
As for Kovind, he delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech that highlighted what he stands for as president. Kovind recalls on his times of struggle growing up in the industrial city of Kanpur. The next Indian president remembers living in a makeshift house made of mud known as “kuchha.”
“Dalit” discrimination persists as some of the less-fortunate are forced to live in segregated areas. Furthermore, other members of the oppressed aren’t even allowed to use water fountains. These are issues that Kovind hopes to change as a member of the less-fortunate and oppressed hierarchy himself.
The next president of India took pride in his humble origins declaring himself as a representative of all the hardworking people. Kovind also praised those who work hard and earn their living the honest way.
With all that said, the 72-year-old promises to serve his nation in the spirit of making everyone happy. India’s 14th president also assured everyone that he will uphold the values of the Constitution. Many consider the recent election as a big victory as it will certainly aid the country in its struggles with poverty & discrimination.