3 January 2023

Bharat Jodo Diary : 03 January 2023


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

And so the Yatra recommenced after its winter halt in the nation’s capital. The triumphant, indeed rapturous welcome given to the #BharatJodoYatra was recorded on these pages a few days ago. But in the new year, and despite the ever plummeting mercury, there could have been few better farewells than the one that Delhiites gave to the Yatris as they walked through and then out of the city.

A diverse number of people gathered to greet the Yatra in Delhi

But why take our word for it, read what others had to say. “Traffic came to a standstill as Congress leader #RahulGandhi resumed his #BharatJodoYatra in New Delhi” said the Facebook entry of the New Indian Express publication. And what’s more – they had the pictures to prove it (see ‘Post of the day” below).

“Dilawalon ki dilli” says Yatri Pramod Jayant, who is a native of the city. He can be forgiven for taking pride in the reception, because almost the entire way saw large crowds converging on, walking alongside or just turning up to see the Yatris walk by. “It felt like we were celebrating a festival, more than just walking through Delhi” he adds.

What many found striking was that so many individuals across culture and religions turned up to lend support. This is a testament not just to the drawing power of the Yatra but also to the secular, tolerant and inclusive nature of India as a whole. “Though part of our route took us through areas that were affected by communal rioting and violence, we were met by people from all religions on a common platform – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains” says Jayant.

Yatri Pramod Jayant (left) was struck by the number of people across religions who came to see the Yatra. “We were met by people from all religions on a common platform – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains” he says.

And so it continued across the entire route which took the Yatris from the Hanuman Mandir to the Loha wala pull and on to Shastri park, then Gandhi Nagar and Dharampur, via Seelampur, Jaffrabad, and Gokulapuri Chowk all the way to the Dayalpur Police station. What a journey it was!

It was a day for great endings and new beginnings. For halfway through the day’s journey the #BharatJodoYatra transitioned from Delhi to the state of Uttar Pradesh. At a simple but meaningful ceremony the national flag was exchanged by the two respective PCC presidents – Anil Chaudhry and Brijlal Khabri. For those interested in details, this ceremony occurred at the Gokulapuri Delhi-UP Border, in Loni, Ghaziabad.

And then with barely a pause we were off again! Once again the reception accorded to the Yatris was extraordinary. “It’s difficult to believe”, says Yatri Akshay Yadav, “and I asked myself, just where are these huge crowds coming from? There were times I felt that there was barely space to stand for kilometres on end.”

Yatri Akshay Yadav (far centre) says that at times “I felt that there was barely space to stand for kilometres on end.”

The regard that people are displaying for the Yatra and its personalities can be humbling. Along the way we met with with Priya who had been waiting for a few hours. Why was she there? “I want to see Uncle” she said and upon further questioning the Uncle in question proved to be Congress MP Rahul Gandhi! “Is he indeed walking” Priya asked, and upon confirmation that yes the Uncle was walking, she said “If he can walk, then I can wait, no problem.” What could one say to such a striking statement.

Today the Yatris were accompanied by a number of prominent individuals including A S Dulat, former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing; and Kashmir expert, Dr. Ram Puniyani, author and activist; Mahesh Zagade, Former Principal Secretary Govt. of Maharashtra; and environmentalists Vimlendu Jha and Bhavreen Kandhari.

However we must not forget perhaps one individual today whose presence was deeply symbolic. In the words of Congress MP and General Secretary KC Venugopal, “This day was also made special by the presence of former J&K CM Dr. Farooq Abdullah ji. We thank him for his undying support and look forward to his participation again in the Jammu & Kashmir leg of the Yatra”.

The Yatris traveled to their journey break at Pavi Sadakpur, and then on to their night halt camp at Hari Castle, MaviKala. In departure from previous days, there was no evening walk, the entire day’s journey having been completed in one go. Today’s, it was an almost non stop march but, as Congress MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “My body was reluctant, my mind was determined. Determination prevailed.”

Determination did prevail, as it had since the beginning if the Yatra in Kanyakumari, and will continue to prevail until all the objectives are met in full.


And that’s a promise.

Currently in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long Padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Kashmir up in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.


Ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)

Travel Facts

1. City/ District names: Delhi, Ghaziabad, Baghpat
2. Delhi is a union territory and also India’s national capital.
3. Delhi is of great historical significance as an important commercial, transport, and cultural hub, as well as the political center of India.
4. It is part of one of the country’s largest urban agglomerations, the national capital territory.
5. Delhi has been a capital of India many times, ruled by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs.
6. It is mentioned in the great Mahabharata. The town was known as Indraprastha, where Pandavas used to live.
7. In the year 1803 AD, the city came under British rule. In 1911, the British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi.
8. After independence in 1947, New Delhi has officially declared the Capital of India.
9. A varied history has left behind a rich architectural heritage in Delhi. Monuments from early medieval to medieval India such as Humayun’s Tomb, Lal Qila, etc to the 20th-century monuments such as India Gate, etc give a historical blend to the national capital of India.
10. Famous park and garden areas include the Lodī Gardens (around the Lodī Tombs) and the Firoz Shah Kotla Grounds (around Ashoka’s Pillar).
11. Along the banks of Yamuna, memorials have been built for various 20th-century national leaders. Among these are Raj Ghat (in memory of Mahatma Gandhi), Shanti Vana (in honor of Jawaharlal Nehru), and Vijay Ghat (dedicated to Lal Bahadur Shastri).
12. The service sector is the most important part of Delhi’s economy, and it is the city’s largest employer. The bulk of Delhi’s working population is engaged in trade, finance, public administration, professional services, personal, and social services.
13. Old Delhi has been a dominant trading and commercial center in northern India.

Post of the day