20 September 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (End of Day)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri 
(With inputs from Gaurav Pandhi)

“We are walking because we understand the struggles you face in your lives”.

‘A King and a Korean’ Boy Band were some unexpected highlights today as the Bharat Jodo Yatris continued to press on with enthusiasm and energy.

The yatris rested mid afternoon in Kuthiathodu in history’s shadow. Kuthiathodu, a gram panchayat in the Alappuzha district, was visited by Mahatma Gandhi during one of his Padyatras. The gram panchayat even has a memorial commemorating Gandhiji.

Later in the afternoon, massive and festive crowds accompanied the yatris from their start in Eramalloor Junction all the way to Aroor Junction in the evening.  There was an atmosphere of celebration all the way through. Incidentally, while the march itself ended in Alappuzha district, the marchers themselves reached another landmark as they crossed over to Ernakulam district for their night stay at KUFOS, Kochi.

In the afternoon, Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi met with multiple delegations. A delegation of coalition partners led by Maani Kappan, MLA, Pala Assembly constituency, expressed their solidarity with the Yatra. 

The second interaction was with Kovil Mala Rajamannan (recognized by Kerala government as the ‘tribal king’) from Idukki, which resulted in tribal communities underlining their support for the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Apart from the above, various social welfare groups of Idukki also interacted with Gandhi. 

More informally, in an incredible and amusing integration, Gandhi sat down at a local restaurant with three school girls, and treated them to their favourite beverage – the Sharjah Shake.  They also apprised Gandhi of their favourite boyband- the BTS Army from Korea!

Later, at a corner meeting organised at Aroor Junction this evening, Gandhi spoke movingly about the yatra.  “We are walking with humility. It isn’t easy to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir”, he told a charged crowd, “We are walking because we understand the struggles you face in your lives”.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra is presently in the state of Kerala.  Over 19 days in the state, it will cover 7 districts over 450 kilometres, before it commences in Karnataka on October 1.  

The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Srinagar in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.

(Local area research by Aparna Ashwarya, INC Communications Department)

End of Day Travel Facts 

  1. Distance traveled this day (Source: Yatri Shatrughan Sharma’s walking app): 21 Km/29, 671 steps
  2. Route traveled/major settlements: Chertala- Kothiathodu -Aroor Junction 

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