2 December 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

Praveena is having a disagreement with her brother. Mahendra nonchalantly tells us they “just came just now to see the Yatra”. Praveena cuts him short. “We’ve been waiting since 5:30 am, that makes it more than an hour!”

Praveena with her brother. Mahendra: “We’re very excited to be here.” Photo Credit: Ajay Thakur

Whether it was a wait of an hour or less, we never found out, but both were very excited to be there. The Yatris’ morning session on their 86th day of the #BharatJodoYatra involved an approximately 14 kilometre walk from Jahanara village to their midday break near Tanodia village.

It was, as yesterday’s walk, mostly through farmland, and fields of a variety of crops including wheat and mustard on either side. “It was a great crowd this morning,” says Yatri Santhosh Kolkunda, “we could sense that the people lined by the roadside had come on their own and were very engaged with us.”

“It was a great crowd this morning”, says Yatri Santhosh Kolkunda (second from right). “We could sense that the people lined by the roadside had come on their own and were very engaged with us.”

An example would be that of Prasad bai and her infant son Kanho, who were waiting outside Parsi village. It was less the excitement, and more that “someone cares about us poor people.” She went on to add, “We want people to know how bad our living conditions have become.” We promised Prasad bai that the the Yatra is intended to highlight exactly that.

Prasad bai believes that the Yatra reflects the fact that “someone cares about us poor people.” Photo credit: Ajay Thakur

In the course of the morning walk there was an interaction with a group of ex- servicemen and their families. We note that such interactions with ex-faujis have have been a recurring feature of the Yatra, and everywhere their response is the same, a condemnation of the BJP government’s defence policies, especially the disastrous Agnipath recruitment scheme.

Currently in the state of Madhya Pradesh, 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)

Midday Travel Facts

1. District names: Ujjain, Shajapur
2. Ujjain district is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. The famous Mahakaleshwar temple is located in Ujjain city and has one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India.
3. Another important site is Ram-Janardan mandir.
4. Great works on astronomy such as the Surya Siddhanta and the Panch Siddhanta were written in Ujjain.
5. Ujjain district is home to Ujjain town, one of the Hindu pilgrimage centres famous for the Kumbh mela.
6. The district has one of the largest viscose staple fiber manufacturers in Asia.
7. The city is the birthplace of great national poet Kavi Pradeep.
8. Shajapur city was a favourite of and named after Emperor Shah Jahan.