Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
It was the Yatris’ very last day in Karnataka and the people of this great state made it stand out.
Extra special we would say given the number of crowds that thronged all the way from the start of the journey at the Hotel Brindavan, Raichur to its end at the Basaveshwara Circle Ground. We have seen huge crowds in the yatra, but this one was extraordinary. For as far as the eye could see there were people gathered and one could be forgiven for thinking that everyone in Karnataka was there.
And even away from the excitement, impact of the #BharatJodoYatra is becoming increasingly clear. In a quiet cafe far away from the crowds we were approached by Rehan 21 and Yasin 18 who were not only supportive but also very knowledgeable about the Yatra, it’s purpose and objectives.
In the afternoon Congress leaders including Members of Parliament Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh, Ranjeet Surjewala, Imran Pratapgarhi, Karnataka PCC President DK Shivkumar met representatives from minority communities, and also had an interaction with MGNREGA workers and Devadasi Dalit women from Raichur.
The minority community representatives, spoke of the psychosis or fear that is being felt by the minority community in the past few years.
In response Rahul Gandhi stated that he believed that the “Definition of India is a welcoming place for everyone.” He also assured all present that the divisiveness and hatred fostered by the BJP/ RSS combine would not last.
The MGNREGA workers and Devadasi women apprised Congress leaders of illegal Devadasi practice. However, they also stated how they had had formed a peoples bank with 18,000 members to give them a measure of economic independence.
In response Gandhi said that he was “Inspired by what the Devdasi women and MGNREGA workers were doing.”
At a corner meeting at Basaveshwara Circle Ground, Gandhi told the vast assembled audience that today was “The Bharat Jodo Yatra’s last day in Karnataka, and he was grateful to its people for their strength and their love.”
The Yatris will rest for the night at the Ananda Primary School, Yegnur, Raichur. Tomorrow they will cross into Telengana. We bid goodbye to Karnataka.
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 – Raichur
2. The famous Hatti Gold mines are located in Raichur district. This mine is considered to be one of the oldest metal mines in the world
3. Raichur district is known as the cotton bowl of Karnataka
4. The two rivers, the Krishna and the Tungabhadra form Raichur district’s entire North and Southern boundaries
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