24 September 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (End of Day)


Manish Khanduri
(With inputs from Gaurav Pandhi)

As the yatris continued their evening journey from Ollur Junction to Thrissur, this day was also notable for the press conference headlined by Pawan Khera, Chairman, Media & Publicity Department, All India Congress Committee; in which he articulated the vision of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, and it’s direct relevance to present day India.

Speaking to reporters at the Press Club, Thrissur; Khera said that “The objective” of the Bharat Jodo Yatra “is to reclaim what I call the soul of India”, underlying that the Yatra wasn’t just an exercise in electoral politics. “What we are talking about is far bigger than an election here or an election there,” Khera went to to highlight the economic mismanagement of the BJP government, its inequitable policies and clumsy policy execution; citing the examples of the deleterious impact of demonetisation, GST and COVID mismanagement. In comparison India was “On an economic highway under Dr Manmohan Singh and the UPA government.”

He also highlighted the fact that the Bharat Jodo Yatra was designed to combat all kinds of communalism, be it that of the RSS or the Popular Front of India (PFI). “The RSS and PFI ideologies give oxygen to each other”, Khera stated, “The Bharat Jodo Yatra is attempting to send both these ideologies to the ICU.”

“It has been only 17 days”, he said of the five month long Bharat Jodo Yatra “And so many things have happened.” He was referring to the panic engendered by the Yatra amongst BJP leaders, such as RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat meeting Muslim community leaders a day ago. “Wait and see what happens in five months” he concluded.

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.

End of Day Travel Facts

1. Route traveled/ major settlements: Perambra Junction – Amballur Junction- Thrissur
2. Current District Name – Thrissur
3. The Indian Independence Movement gained momentum after a committee of the Indian National Congress was formed in Thrissur district in 1919.
4. The Guruvayur Satyagraha, a nationwide movement for temple entry and against untouchability started in Thrissur, led by Gandhi discipline K.Kelappan, who was also prominent leader of the Indian National Congress.
5. The district of Thrissur was a major participant in Gandhiji’s call for action during the Civil Disobedience Movement.

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