Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
And so began the 88th day of the #BharatJodoYatra, and it’s last day in Madhya Pradesh. For Samrat Jeena, Yatri from Orissa, it was a journey “through a state that was similar in many ways, different in others, but always interesting.” It was the first in the Hindi belt that the Yatra passed through, setting up the journey into North India.
The Yatris walked around 14 from Lala Khedi to Soyatkalan. “Today too,” says Jeena, “It was though farm areas, and we could see a lot of orange fields.” The Yatris were accompanied during the morning walk by famous singer Prahlad Singh Tipaniya, and also journalist Tanveer Warsi.
Prasad Sharma and Krisha Sharma had beeen waiting a while for the Yatra, days if you were to count the time from when they realised the Yatra was going to pass their way. “This morning we’ve been up since two hours ago,” said Prasad. Krishna “Just wanted to see Rahul and maybe get a selfie with him.”
Others had gathered in other groups, eager to see the Yatris. Sandeep, 15, was waiting with his elders outside Kothada village. He was visibly excited. “It’s amazing that they have walked from Kanyakumari” he said, “I was telling my friends how far it is.” Indeed, and it is the support of people like Sandeep and his family and friends that the Yatris continue to walk with energy and purpose.
Speaking to the press earlier in the day former chief minister Kamal Nath stated that Madhya Pradesh was “The first Hindi speaking state that the Yatra entered… Some newspapers wrote that despite its success in the South the Yatra would fail in Hindi speaking states, but what happened surprised even me. People came from everywhere of their own accord.”
Currently in the state of Madhya 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)
Midday Travel Facts
1. District name: Agar Malwa
2. Agar Malwa is the most newly-formed district of Madhya Pradesh.
3. Agar town is known for the temple of Jai Baba Baijnath, said to be built by a British citizen in the 19th century.
4. Agar is known for its red soil, said to be found in a short radius around it.