Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
The Yatris walked around 9 kilometres from Nahardi to their evening break at Jhalrapatan and so completed the first day of their journey in Rajasthan. That’s just a factual statement. But if you dig a little deeper, the picture that emerges is one that depicts an incredible atmosphere, charged crowds and a spirit of celebrations.
Yatri Mahender Vohra exultantly described it as “Personally, one of my best days since the start of the Yatra”. Why was that? Vohra is describing not just the crowds but their enthusiasm and diversity. “They just seemed to keep on coming all along the way,” he marvelled, “And not just that, a very significant proportion of those that came were women.”
The evening walk at times seemed like a continuous explosion of colours and music, with dancers and musicians adding to the atmosphere. “Every state is unique in its own way,” said Yatri Rekha Kashyap, “But the excitement, the energy and the way we’ve been made welcome, makes Rajasthan really stand out.” The celebrations were also very apt in another way – it was Kashyap’s birthday today! Being on the Yatra meant that she couldn’t celebrate the day with family, but we are sure that Rajasthan made it especially memorable for her.
During the evening session the Yatris were joined by a group of Gandhians from the state, led by Sawai Singh ji, President of the Rajasthan Samagra Seva Sangh, and also activist Pratibha Shinde.
At a press conference earlier in the day, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh stated about the RSS/ BJP “They had no role to play in our freedom struggle, they had no role to play in the framing of the constitution, they actively opposed Gandhiji’s Quit India movement…. RSS has a divisive ideology… that is dangerous to the nation.”
Currently in state of Rajasthan, 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: Jhalawar
2. The district is the birthplace of a famous Bhakti saint, popularly known as Bhagat Pipa.
3. Jhalawar is known by the nicknames of Cherrapunji of Rajasthan because the highest rainfall in the whole of Rajasthan occurs in Manoharthana town in the district.
4. Jhalawar Fort is one of the several historic fortifications in Rajasthan that were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013.
5. Jhalawar is known for the production of oranges and is called “The Orange City.”
6. Jhalawar is the birthplace of the famous Hindi poet and socialist, Nand Chaturvedi.
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