2 November 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary : 01 November 2022


Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

If you watched the Congress leaders arrive at the head of a vibrant, excited procession and then raise the national flag at Charminar; after which, starting the evening walk, there came at you an absolute river of people coursing down Afzal Ganj, banked on either side by shops selling pearls and perfumes, past restaurants and Irani tea shops, you’d have witnessed the opening of evening proceedings of the #BharatJodoYatra on its 55th day.

You would have then seen an explosion of music – the speakers mounted on trucks belting out the Bharat Jodo Theme Song so that it created an absolute wall of sound, just before you crossed the first bridge and took a turn to the left onto the Siddiamber Bazaar main road, past the auto accessory shops, entering a momentary zone of comparative silence; where you’d have seen the float playing Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Ai mere watan ke logon’, and then you’d be gone past into a crowd of hundreds of people, some just watching, some dancing to the hypnotic beats of a group of drum-playing artists.

The crowds thronging the streets would grow as you, now flowing somewhere in the middle of a large river of people, turned left onto Nampally road past the Gandhi Bhawan arriving at the Ravindra Bharti signal where you saw people waiting more patiently, and maybe the one youth dancing in the middle in some private ecstasy.

But by then you’d be gone ahead, walking alongside flag carrying, chanting groups of Congress cadre, past the RBI building where groups of policemen were directing (by now) thousands upon thousands of people onto Necklace road with the magnificent Hussain Sagar lake, still and silent in against the now dark evening sky,

You would have then been part of a massive crowd that seemed to go one for ever, standing room only, the pent up excitement of the day released in roar after roar, slogan after slogan, as you listened to Congress leaders say their piece.

The official accounts would say that last evening in Hyderabad – you, along with Bharat Yatris and Congress cadres walked from Hussaini Alam Junction, Charminar around 8 kilometres to the Indira Gandhi Statue, Necklace road. What it wouldn’t say is that it was an experience of a lifetime.

Currently in the state of Telangana, 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. Current District/ City Names: Ranga Reddy district, Hyderabad City
2. The capital of Telangana, Hyderabad is the largest city of Telangana. It is the fourth most populous city in India.
3. Hyderabad was once known for the pearl industry and was nicknamed the City of Pearls; and was the world’s only trading centre for Golconda diamonds.
4. Since the 1990s, the city has emerged as a hub for Pharma and Biotech.
5. Ranga – Reddy district is known for its famous film studio complex, Ramoji Film City. The major attractions for tourists are Osman Sagar Lake and Ananthagiri Hills. Maheshwaram is a well-known pilgrimage centre in the district.
6. Shadnagar in Ranga – Reddy district is home to to the ISRO centre (NRSC), known for data reception from various satellites.
7. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao won from Shadnagar constituency’ (MLA) in the first sovereign elections held in 1952, to become the first Chief Minister of the then Hyderabad.

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