22 December 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary : 22 December 2022


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

We start with a question – What’s common to these names: Ratan Singh, Kallu, Mulla, Dhanwant, Pir Khan?

The answer – these are the names of some of the people who were hanged for fighting against the British empire in 1857. And today the #BharatJodoYatra passed through the home territory of these heroes. Their names are commemorated on a monument along the route from Ghasera Village to their evening break at Ambedkar Chowk Sohna.

Every day, as Yatris walk the length of this great country, we are reminded of the many reasons that underlie the greatest political walk of our times, the #BharatJodoYatra. We see persistent unemployment, widening economic disparities, the destruction of farming communities, and an environment of hatred and mistrust fostered by the BJP/ RSS government.

Today’s walk, December 22 incidentally also being the shortest day of the year, again underscored those reasons. For, today the Yatris walked through Mewat and Nuh, known for a leading role in the 1857 War Of Independence. Not only did people across communities fight the British, many paid for it with their lives.

“You just had to read the names on the memorial commemorating those heroes”, stayed Yatri Shesh Narayan Ojha. Be it Muslim or Hindu, highborn or low, they all fought together. “And the Bharat Yatris,” says Ojha “Walk to remember them and take forward their legacy of oneness. We fight against the hatred that the BJP regime is fostering among all religions and all sections of society.” The names of the villages that rose up are also commemorated – Asbar, Barota, Buraka, Ghasera and Nangli to make just a few.

At Ghasera village also Congress MP Rahul Gandhi paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Another interesting titbit of history is that this is the place where Bapu came to ask the Muslim Meos majority to not migrate to Pakistan. For that reason it is also known as Gandhi Gram Ghasera.


And never mind that it was cold during the walk, the political temperature kicked up several notches, with Congress MP Jairam Ramesh continuing to take on the BJP government on the issue of China encroaching on Indian territory. “Why have you imperilled our national security for the sake of your vanity?” asked Ramesh of Prime Minister Modi.

There was yet another issue of contention, that of the BJP government attempting to stop the course of the #BharatJodoYatra before it gets to Delhi and Rajghat – using the totally spurious pretext of the spread of COVID. However let it be clear to one and all – this Yatra isn’t stopping!

Unaware of these issues and more interested in participating in the excitement were the large crowds gathered along the way. We met little Ilma and her brother Mohammed who were almost dancing in excitement as the Yatris passed by. Or the trio of Sobhan, Mohammed and Faizan who were waiting to “Catch a glimpse (ek nazar) of Rahul Gandhi.”

Little Ilma and her brother Mohammed were almost dancing in excitement as the Yatris passed by.
(Left to Right)- Sobhan, Mohammed and Faizan who were waiting to “catch a glimpse (ek nazar) of Rahul Gandhi.”

It was partly a walk through a urban landscape, Nuh town and partly through a more rural landscape. “What I find incredible,” says Yatri Sushil Dhanak, who is also from Haryana “The high numbers of women and children,and it seemed as if people from every household along the route had tuned up.” It wasn’t all flowers, though, today was also a “very dusty day”, Dhanak observes wryly “And many of us were brushing off the accumulated dust at the end of the day.”

Yatri Sushil Dhanak (Left) was struck by the “large numbers of women and children along the route who came to watch us.”

During the day the Yatris were accompanied in the morning walk by farmer representatives from Mewat, and MBBS students of a local government medical college. In the evening session Dr. Saif Mahmood, author, advocate and Fellow at Oxford University, and Air Commodore (retd.) Prashant Dixit walked with the Yatris.

We conclude with Yatri Avani Bansal, for whom the walk from Ghasera village to Sohna, was also the day to observe the economic disparities that over the years have become exaggerated as a result of the BJP government’s policies. “The locals informed me that people from Mewat, form the backbone of India’s transport industry as all the large truck drivers, who drive interstate come usually from Mewat. Mostly Mewatis live in villages and their deplorable socio-economic condition raised huge concern in my heart regarding their overall being.” And fighting against this economic inequity is also a reason that we walk.

For Yatri Avani Bansal (left) today’s walk from Ghasera village to Sohna, was also a day to observe the economic disparities that over the years have become exaggerated as a result of the BJP government’s policies

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: Nuh
2. The Mahabharata mentions that the area was gifted by Yudhishthir to their teacher Dronacharya.
3. Nuh has the village of Kotla – folklore states that the Pandavas stopped here for a brief period in the Shiva temple during their 14 year long exile.
4. In the 1920s the grassroots Islamic movement Tablighi Jamaat arose from this region as a reformist movement.

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