Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
It was through a lush green countryside and accompanied by large crowds that the Bharat Yatris walked to their destination, Obalapuram Village, around 7 kilometres away. In current Yatri terms, it was a short distance, rapidly traversed!
The enthusiasm of the people who come to see the Yatris remains undimmed. Yatri Dr Shravan Govindrao Rapanwad, described the Karnataka tradition of people dressing up in elaborate traditional costumes and greeting guests with folk music. “It’s alway incredible to see and hear,” he said.
However interactions with the crowd revealed an underlying sense of frustration with the BJP government’s policies. Bharat Yatri Dr. Kethuri Venkatesh spoke of meeting several local women, who stated their frustration with rising commodities prices and declining real incomes.
The topic of the day centred around a defining value of the yatra – why is it that everything from the Indian economy to the farmers, youth, and women are suffering under the current government? Inflation and unemployment are at 35 and 45 year highs. The Bharat Yatris walk to highlight these aspects of this government’s misrule.
Finally, it may be recalled that a few days ago Bharat Yatris led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had spoken up for murder victim Ankita Bhandari, and condemned the increased assaults on women in BJP states, often led by that party’s functionaries. Yesterday the Bharat Jodo team met Ankita’s family in her village in Uttarakhand. It was a reminder of the values that propel the #BharatJodoYatra. We also march for Ankita, and for all victims.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is presently in the state of Karnataka. Over 21 days in the state, it will cover 511 kilometres.
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 Name – Bellary
2. The district is located at almost the centre of Karnataka
3. Bellary holds 25% of India’s iron ore reserves.
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