27 November 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary : 26 November 2022


Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

In the second session of the day the Yatris walked along an approximately 9 kilometre stretch from Umeria Chowki to Balwada. Early on, we caught up with Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar enroute. When asked about the crowd response today he replied, “It’s been absolutely fantastic.”

Congressman Kanhaiya Kumar (centre) walking with former MP Meenakshi Natarajan. “It was a fantastic day” says Kumar.

And that fantastic atmosphere is being created organically, by the people in the places that the #BharatJodoYatra passes through. One example would be the Nirmal Vidyapeth where the schoolchildren, from classes 1 through 8 were lined up in fancy dresses outside gates. “We’re here to welcome Rahul Gandhi” said Monisha.

All dressed up- “We’re here to welcome Rahul Gandhi” said Monisha (front).

Ramesh Mansarey and family would agree about the excitement. This farmer was waiting with his family in the summer heat for over an hour, but he was visibly happy and engaged. “I’ve never see him” he said referring to Rahul Gandhi, “This time maybe the whole family will.”

Ramesh Mansarey (left) and family were visibly happy and engaged at the prospect of seeing the Yatra.

This was reiterated by Yatri Shauryaveer Singh. “Most places that I go to, they’re very excited that Rahul Gandhi is coming. And some of them keep asking – Is he really walking?” We assure them, he really is. Singh also had reason to be excited himself – today he got the chance to walk with his other favourite leader, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Yatri Shauryaveer Singh was excited at the chance of walking alongside Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

In the afternoon, at the midday point, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi held an interaction with MSMEs, and also with handloom workers from Maheshwar. The afternoon walking session also saw tribals leaders and activists.

In the evening, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge joined the Yatris and paid a visit to the Dr Ambedkar Janmabhoomi Smarak, Mhow. The program included paying obeisance to Babasaheb’s mortal remains, followed by a presentation of the Preamble of the Constitution by Interstate Leaders of SC Department.

Speaking to the press today, Congress MP Jairam said that “Dr BR Ambedkar, in an address, had stated that the credit of framing the constitution went to the Congress.” On the other hand, “The RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha were against the Constitution.”

At a corner meeting at the end of the day – Rahul Gandhi, addressing a large crowd, spoke of how the policies of the BJP? Such as GST and demonetisation had destroyed the small and medium business community and farmers. He went on to state, “Small and medium enterprises, traders and farmers generate employment. But the BJP’s policies have finished these communities, have broken the backbone (of the economy).”

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)

End of Day Travel Facts:

1. District names: Indore, Khargone
2. Indore historically has been a junction for pilgrimage (Omkareshwar to Mahakaleshwar) and military movement (Agra to Deccan); consequentially it has developed as a commercial and military town.
3. Mhow town in Indore district is the birthplace of statesman and social reformer Dr B.R Ambedkar.
4. Mhow is also the centre for key training schools of the Indian army including the Army War College and the Infantry Training School.
5. Indore district is the business and trading capital of the state, famous for cotton textile, steel and chemical production. Namkeen production is also a major economic activity.
6. Khargone district is one of India’s biggest cotton-producing regions.
7. The other major cash crops of the the district soybean and chilli.
8. Khargone city ranked 10th Cleanest city in India in Swachh Survekshan 2020.
9. Khargone is also known for Navgraha Mandir, a temple devoted to the nine planets.

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