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Politics

India's gender debate: How should President Murmu be addressed?

Critics say standard Hindi title 'rashtrapati' reflects patriarchal mindset

The election of Droupadi Murmu, India's second female president, has rekindled a national discussion over how to address female leaders.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- India's election of its second female president has sparked a fevered debate over a deceptively simple question: How should she be formally addressed?

Droupadi Murmu officially took over as president on Monday, becoming not only the second woman to hold the largely ceremonial post but the first from a tribal community to do so. But as India does not have a long tradition of female heads of state, the country of around 1.4 billion people has yet to decide on an appropriate title.

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