27 November 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary : 27 November 2022


Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

“Indira Gandhi gave us our plot before 1984” says Chandrakala bai, “He is the flame (chirag) of that family. I offer my dua that Rahul’s tapasya succeeds.”

Quiet words, passionately spoken as we met Chandrakala with her family outside Bhimnagar, just before the start of the afternoon session of the Yatra.

Said Chandrakala Bai, “He is the flame (chirag) of that family. I offer my dua that Rahul’s tapasya succeeds.”

It was an extraordinary experience just listening to her. But then it was an extraordinary day. It seemed that all of Indore city was out on the streets in an exuberant expression of love and fellowship.

We walked adjacent a number of localities – Bhimnagar, Anand Nagar, Rajendra Nagar, Manik Bagh – and everywhere it was the same. The entirely urban walk from AU Cinema to the end point some 8 kilometres later at Rajwada was lined with crowds, some waiting for the Yatris, while others had already started their celebration.

“I felt I was witnessing one continuous festival” said Yatri Kiran Chettri, while Yatri Rekha Kashyap felt “a sense of great satisfaction that the Bharat Jodo Yatra was such a hit.”

Yatri Kiran Chettri (standing, first left) while Yatri Rekha Kashyap (standing, arm raised) interact with one of a large number of groups lining the roads today

“We’re waiting for him,” said a student at the Women’s Polytechnic Indore, who had lined up just inside their college gates. There as no need to elaborate who ‘he’ was.

“We’re waiting for him,” – students at the Women’s Polytechnic Indore. There as no need to elaborate who ‘he’ was.

In another landmark of sorts we had the first Bharat Jodo concert at the Chimanbag Maidan. Headlined by Divine of Mere Gully Mein fame, the entertainers had the whole crowd rocking through the evening and into the night.

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 name: Indore
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.

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