Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
(With inputs from Gaurav Pandhi)
It was a red letter day for Bharat Jodo yatris and, more esoterically, Karnataka state lovers of the famed Asterix and Obelix comics. This day marked the entry of the #BharatJodoYatra into Karnataka to rapturous crowds. On this day also The Hindu published a story about the discovery of a “a huge collection of… menhirs … in Veldurthi mandal near Macherla, about 150 km away from Guntur”.
After the midday rest, the Bharat Jodo padyatris started their walk from Bendagalli village gate, ending 9 kilometres later at the Begur bus stand at Gundlupet.
The crowd can only be described as energised and engaged. Earlier in the day the yatris were received by Karnataka Congress leaders including Leader of Opposition and ex- Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah and PCC president DK Shivakumar.
In the afternoon at a press conference held by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, it was stated that at the moment “Everything else that is happening in the Congress at the moment is a side show. The main show is the Bharat Jodo Yatra.”
In the afternoon, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, held an interaction with the Tribal Community Association of Chamarajanagar district. He also met with family members of those who died due to oxygen shortage during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the District Hospital. In the meeting with the tribal community Gandhi emphasised that we must learn from them how to respect nature.
“We were overwhelmed with the love and affection given to us by the people of Karnataka” says Pradeep Ror, Yatri, summarising the day.
Given that crowd response we have little to worry about for the yatra’s future prospects.
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: Gundlupet – Panjanahalli- Begur Bus Stand
2. Current District Name – Chamrajanagar
3. Karnataka is the seventh largest state in India. It’s major rivers are Cauvery, Tungabhadra and Krishna.
4. Earlier known as “The State of Mysore”, it was formed on 1 November 1956, after the State Re-organisation Act of 1956
5. Karnataka is the fastest-growing economy in India.
6. The Hindu Story referenced in the first paragraph – “Discovery of menhirs throws light on prehistoric cultures of Guntur region” –