16 December 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary : 16 December 2022


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

On the hundredth day of the #BharatJodoYatra walking the first fifteen kilometres was easy, because you were too excited to notice. And the last 6 kilometres didn’t matter because you’re too tired to notice. At least that was the running gag between the Yatris; as in the morning session they walked a full 21 kilometres in one go.

Yatris Jyoti Rautela (left) and Nandita Hooda (right) in the end stages of a 21 kilometres walk. In the backdrop are following Yatris Sachin Dwivedi (red jacket) and Satyam Thakur (yellow jacket)

But it didn’t feel like 21 kilometres, not when the route was lined with crowds all the way from from the Meena High Court to the break point opposite the Giriraj Dharan Mandir, in Dausa town.

It was one long stretch of waiting crowds, Congress and other frontal teams holding flags, music groups, folk dancers, media vans blaring loud music, horses and even camels as the caravan hit the road. Thus we saw Ram Prasad Sharma from Tonk with his dance troupe performing the famous Kachchhi Ghodi dance.

The famous Kachchhi Ghodi dance being performed for the Yatris

However, even on a day of incredible memories for the Yatris, one thing stood and that was the welcome in the town of Dausa.

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh enjoys a cuppa during a tea break.

It was a striking image to begin with – a short distance after they entered Dausa, the Yatris saw that main road of Dausa was strewn with marigold flowers, from start to finish – a distance of two plus kilometres. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that it seems that the entire town had turned out.

As the Yatris entered Dausa, they saw the main road strewn with marigold flowers for kilometres

The crowd enthusiasm was palpable. For example we met on the road 80 year old Bano who was there to “get a darshan of Rahul Gandhi.” Balram Singh, 17 was there because he was “frustrated with the BJP government’s Agniveer recruitment scheme for the armed forces.” Rekha Sharma, 54, “wanted to see Indira Gandhi’s grandson.”

80 year old Bano (second from right) was there to “get a darshan of Rahul Gandhi.”
Rekha Sharma, 54, “wanted to see Indira Gandhi’s grandson.”

There were so many examples of people like Bano, Balram and Sharma it would take pages to write about them all. So we will quote two individuals. “It’s the best day in Rajasthan” said Yatri Sachin Dwivedi as we walked with him, “At times I thought some of the tops of the adjacent houses will cave in under the pressure of the people atop.” And party MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “The reception in Dausa has been electrifying!”

Yatri Aarti Nirmohi (left) had guests from Himachal Pradesh who joined the Yatra

Along the walk the Yatris were joined by a number of individuals including Baiju Thattatil, Mukulika Banerjee, Professor at London School of Economics, activist Nikhil Dey and Dharamchand Khair (President, Adivasi Vikas Manch), writer and daily ideologue Bhanwar Meghwanshi and former editor Om Thanvi.

Speaking to Gandhi on the occasion Thanvi said that he did consider the Yatra just a political event, but a social, cultural activity.

Speaking to the press in the afternoon Rahul Gandhi said that “I learned a lot from the Bhara Jodo Yatra. We are meeting lakhs of people and meeting them one on one.” Responding to a question, he also said that he was walking in the Yatra because “the BJP has spread fear and hatred in the nation and I want to erase this fear and hatred. I am not the first person to do so and won’t be the last.”

Then later in the evening there was an interaction with retired Chief Justice and Justices of High Court.

A long and interesting day ended with the perfect finale in the shape of a Bharat Jodo Yatra concert headlined by singer Sunidhi Chauhan.




What did it feel like to walk on the 100th day of the Yatra we asked Congressman Kanhaiya Kumar. “We are at a stage where the days left for the rest of the yatra (50) are less than the days gone by (100). And I don’t want to miss a single moment of it.”

Currently in the state of Rajasthan, the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long Padyatra from Kanyakumari in india 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. District name: Dausa
2. Dausa district is the birthplace of a noted saint, poet and social reformer of medieval India, Sunderdas.
3. Dausa is home to Chand Baori, one of the oldest, deepest and largest baoris (stepwells) in Rajasthan.

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