Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
When we came across him near the end of the approximately 10 kilometre evening walk from Tirupati Nagar to Kalegaon; Ganesh, 7, was with his family on their fields and chanting at the top of his voice, “Jodo Jodo Bharat Jodo!” After much encouragement from us and his family, he opened up enough to tell us that he was hoping to catch a glimpse of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.
A theme that we are seeing emerging through Maharashtra is the organic and natural attraction of the youth with Gandhi. Earlier, we met a group of teenagers who were dressed in running clothes. “We’re trying out for police recruitment, but have come here to meet Rahul,” said Imran.
In the afternoon, as a celebration of Jawaharlal Nehru’s 133rd birth anniversary (also celebrated as Children’s Day), 700 copies of his seminal work The Discovery Of India were distributed to the Yatris and other assembled associates. It was a superb gesture, and we’d like to thank Congressman Prashant Dube who drove non stop for 19 hours from Delhi to bring these books to the campsite in Hingoli district!
Walking with the Padyatris today were representatives of the DNT-NT community, and All India Sufi Council leaders in their traditional attire.
Speaking to a gathering at a corner meeting in the evening, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi stated that despite the gruelling schedule and the long walks in the Yatra he and other Congress leaders remained fresh and energised. This was, he told the crowd, “Because you give us this power. Whenever we feel tired you give us your love and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
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. District name: Hingoli
2. Hingoli district is the birthplace of famous Marathi writer, F.M Shinde.
3. Hingoli is well known for its educational institutions.
4. Aundha Naganath, one of the 12 jyotirlingas is located in Hingoli district making it an important pilgrimaged destination for Hindus.
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