Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
The Yatris walked around 10 kilometres from Soyatkalan to Dongar gaon and finished the Madhya Pradesh leg of their journey. That is a simple statement to summarise what has really been a fascinating leg of the #BharatJodoYatra – a passage through the first Hindi belt state in the 3,500 kilometre long walk.
In their time in the state the Yatris have crossed two rivers (Narmada and Tapti) two mountain ranges (Satpura and Vindhya) and several major towns such as Buhranpur and Indore. All through the journey, we have been blown away by the affection of people, who have flocked to the Yatra on their own, whether individually or in large groups.
Madhya Pradesh was indeed an interesting experience, but in many ways there were but, some disturbing similarities to other states. As stated Yatri Kiran Mugabasav, he observed how “Farmers struggled, rising unemployment continues to demoralise the youth, and small businesses are crippled by GST and demonetisation.” Indeed, the more we travel the more some things remain the same.
That didn’t mean that the Yatris didn’t have an enjoyable experience. Indeed, seeing Indore town, reportedly the cleanest city in the country, visits to the revered Mahakaleshwar and Omkareshwar temples, were some highlights. Indeed Mugabasav even managed to find time to learn to drive a bullock cart!
Earlier in the day Congress leaders including MP Rahul Gandhi and former chief minister Kamal Nath paid tribute to freedom fighter Tantya Mama on his martyrdom day. In the evening walk the Yatris were joined by representatives from child education and rights organisation – Muskaan, and the Shehri Mazdoor sanghatan from Bhopal.
Meanwhile later in the evening there was a warm welcoming ceremony by our hosts from the state of Rajasthan, but that’s a subject for the next diary entry!
In a message to the people of the state, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said: “On the 26th of November, at Mhow, the birthplace of Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar, we took a solemn pledge to defend the Constitution. I reiterate that pledge to the people of Madhya Pradesh, and promise that a day will soon come when the Congress will
fulfil the trust they have placed in us.”
We also thank the state of Madhya Pradesh, and now look forward to the next stage of our journey.
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: Agar Malwa
2. Agar Malwa is the most newly-formed district of Madhya Pradesh.
3. Agar town is known for the temple of Jai Baba Baijnath, said to be built by a British citizen in the 19th century.
4. Agar is known for its red soil, said to be found in a short radius around it.
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