10 November 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (End of Day)


Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

The #BharatJodoYatra arrived at Nanded today, the “Karmabhoomi of the revered- Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Vishnupant Shesa, Raghunath Shesa, and Vaman Pandit,” as Congress MP Jairam Ramesh puts it.

And what a show it was! The Yatris had walked through parts of Nanded this morning, but the evening walk of around 6 kilometres was, as Yatri Pratibha Raghuvanshi puts it, “In the main markets and the heart of the city.” She added, “…all through the walk streets seemed to be overflowing with people.”

For Yatri D. GeethaKrishnan, this evening was a spiritual journey that highlighted the cultural diversity and harmony that defines India. He shared a photograph taken by him which shows Hindus and Muslims standing side by side in Nanded. “This scene touched my heart,” he says, “Hindus and Muslims standing united, when the BJP is trying to split us.”

Yatri D. GeethaKrishnan, was touched by this scene – “Hindus and Muslims standing united, when the BJP is trying to split us.”

The spirit of Bharat Jodo, however was there today in Nanded and for all to see. In an elaborate series of ceremonies the Bharat Yatris were honoured on stage, looking smart in their Marathi safas (turbans) and were welcomed by different communities. Speeches by Congress leaders, made in front of a massive crowd, were then followed by a brilliant fireworks display. “It was a perfect day,” says Raghuvanshi.

Yatri Pratibha Raghuvanshi says that she had the “perfect day” in Nanded today

Earlier in the afternoon there was a press conference held by Jairam Ramesh. Responding to a question, Ramesh stated that an important reason that the Yatra wasn’t going through ‘election states’ was that INC did not want attention to be diverted from the party’s poll related preparations there.

In the evening the walkers were accompanied by NCP leaders including Supriya Sule, MP, and ex state ministers Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhaad. Sule gifted Congress MP a copy of the Constitution, a symbolic appreciation of the #BharatJodoYatra’s goals of protection our freedoms from the dictatorial ideologies of the RSS/ BJP combine.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge also arrived and joined the Yatra to address a public meeting at New Mondha Ground in Nanded. Kharge spoke in fluent Marathi, and was very well received by the massive crowd gathered, as was Rahul Gandhi who closed out the ceremonies.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge addressed a public meeting in Nanded

However for this day we choose to focus on the words of actor Sushant Singh, who had accompanied the Yatris. Singh spoke movingly of why he was there with us today. He stated that he was initially hesitant to participate, wondering whether he should attend a Congress rally. “But then I thought,” he said, “that this is a rally for India, for uniting India. There are many people spreading hatred, but to take the path of love is more challenging.”

“There are many people spreading hatred, but to take the path of love is more challenging,” said actor Sushant Singh

Currently in the state of Maharastra, 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. Nanded district has been a major place for Sikh pilgrimage. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh made Nanded his permanent abode and passed the Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib before his death in 1708 in Nanded.
2. The district is also known for various Sufi Shrines, Kandhar Fort, and the beautiful waterfall of Sahastrakund.
3. Nanded is the birthplace of three renowned Maratha Poets- Vishnupant Shesa, Ragunath Shesa and Vaman Pandit.
4. The 700-year-old treatise Leela Charita, written by Mhaimbhatta mentions the district of Nanded and its irrigation practices.
5. The district is slowly emerging as an industrial centre, namely cotton spinning and weaving mills.

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