26 September 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (End of Day)


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

“We will not accept an India where graduates cannot get a job. Where their families are drowning because of high prices.”

As they walk across Kerala the #BharatJodoYatra never ceases to be amazed by the natural beauty of the routes they traverse, the enthusiasm of the crowds, and of course the thrilling music and dance.  

It was no different this day, as the yatris walked 8 kilometres from Pattambi to Koppam through winding and sloped roads lined at places by paddy fields.

The afternoon kicked off with an interaction between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and a delegation from tribal communities. The interaction started with a foot tapping song and dance performance dedicated to the #BharatJodoYatra  by members of the Irula tribe, which was much  appreciated by everyone present, especially Gandhi.  

In response to questions and submissions from tribal community representatives, Gandhi emphasised his regard for tribal communities and his understanding of the deep connections between tribes and their environment. He made two key points. In today’s world, environmental protection is most important and we need  to learn from tribal communities on how to safeguard our natural environment and resources. Also that tribal culture itself was under threat and needed to be protected. 

Later in the evening the yatra started, with a send off by yet another instance of the huge crowds we are now seeing. The atmosphere – festive. The yatris’ mood – exhilarated. Yatri Shatrughan Sharma from Rajasthan met with a local Raju, who said that he was there to see the yatra and the Congress; and that “Rahul Gandhi is a very good man”. 

Yatri Shatrughan Sharma caught up local Raju who says he deeply admires Rahul Gandhi

Pallakkad district has particular resonance for Congress marchers. In 1921, Indian National Congress held the first All-Kerala Conference here. In the same meeting, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee was created. Moreover, nearby is Sabari Ashram, famously known as the Sabarmati of Kerala, which Gandhiji visited in 1924, 1927 and 1934.

At a corner meeting held at Koppam in the evening, with a massive crowd present; Rahul Gandhi gave a fiery speech. 

“We will not accept an India” he said “Where PhD students and graduates cannot get a job.  Where their families are drowning because of high prices. An India, where the biggest businessmen can get as much of their loans waived, but our farmers, labourers and small businessmen are called defaulters and put in jail.”

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.

Yatri Vijay Shastri from Jammu makes a new friend

End of Day Travel Facts

  1. Route traveled/ major settlements: Shoranur SMP, Junction – Pattambi- Koppam
  2. Current District Name – Palakkad
  3. Palakkad is referred to as the gateway of Kerala as it is situated on the foot of Western Ghat
  4. The district of Palakkad is nicknamed “The granary of Kerala” The area has and the tributaries of Bharathapuzha which flow

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