28 October 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (End of Day)


Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

Day 51, as Congress MP Jairam Ramesh put it in his press conference today, was special because the midday camp saw assembled the largest array of Congress leaders assembled in the Yatra so far. We thought that we would let them relate their Yatra experiences in their own words.

Birajit Sinha, President Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee said that the #BharatJodoYatra had “Shaken up the entire country. Even in remote villages they were discussing the Yatra.”

Bhakta Charan Das, ex-MP, Orissa, said that given its widespread popularity, “The Yatra was connecting social media to the grassroots.”

Amrinder Singh Raja, President Punjab PCC said that the Yatra was a great way to “Connect with the youth at the ground level; It’s a fantastic initiative and will get bigger.”

Jothimani, MP, Tamil Nadu, spoke of the huge impact that Yatra was getting “50 to 60 thousand people at a time.”

This excitement was reflected by people on the streets. On the way we met with Revathamma, Sarpanch of Teelair village, who said that she was “Very happy that she had an opportunity to see the Bharat Yatra for herself, and the people who were participating.”

But the kids, we must say were having a lot of fun. There were (and we promised to name as many as possible) Sai, Navin, Bharat, Mohan, Madhukar, Shiva Prasad, Baba and Nandan – all had “come to see Rahul” and were excited to be there.

Sai, Navin, Bharat,Mohan, Madhukar, Shiva Prasad, Baba, Nandan and Vishnu – all want “to meet Rahul”

In the afternoon Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had an interaction with handloom weavers and tribal women. The weavers spoke of the negative impact of GST on their already stressed businesses, while the tribal women asked for greater appreciation of their land rights.

Responding to their problems, Gandhi stated that “After the elections, when the INC comes to power, we will try to ensure that you are helped and problems ironed out.”

This later afternoon and evening the Yatris walked 8 kilometres, arriving for the corner meeting at Oblaipalle. Before that there was a large and excited crowd who were waiting for them at Mahbubnagar, a testament to the drawing power of the Yatra. Speaking at a corner meeting Gandhi told the assembled crowd that as part of the Yatra the Congress leaders were “Listening to what was in the hearts of the people of Telangana.”
Currently in the state of Telangana, 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 – Mahabubnagar
2. The district is famous for its ancient temples and historical structures. Pillalamari, a 700 years old Banyan tree, is a major attraction for tourists.
3. It is believed that the famous Golconda diamonds including the “Kohinoor Diamond” came from this region.
4. Mahabubnagar was an important centre during the Quit India movement and the integration of Hyderabad into the Indian Union
5. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, the great freedom fighter and first elected Chief Minister of Hyderabad was born in Mahabubnagar. He was was an active participant in the Quit India movement as well as instrumental in bringing Hyderabad into the Indian Union.

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