By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
It was after a day’s well earned weekly rest that the Yatris commenced their journey this 59th day of the #BharatJodoYatra. They were accompanied on their way by a number of Telangana’s local leaders including CLP Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and MP Uttam Kumar Reddy.
For those interested in their political history, the Bharat Yatris walked through Medak district, from where Congress leader and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had won elections in 1980.
Appropriate then that we should encounter on the way a local woman activist Shantibai, who works as a wage labourer, and who said that “She had left her children with the neighbours, got together a group of women to come participate in the Yatra.” Such dedication never ceases to inspire.
And along the way the Yatris found a number of people ready to greet and encourage the walkers. Observing the roads Bharat Yatri Mahender Vohra stated that “When earlier crowd mobilisation in the Yatra was supposed to occur in the evenings, we are seeing amazing response throughout the day.”
During the course of the morning walk the Yatris were accompanied by a number of groups including unionised South Central Railway employees who discussed railways privatisation, members of the India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association, and the Toddy tappers Association. The Yatris walked 13 kilometres to their midday break point at Danampally, Jogipet.
During a press conference in the afternoon Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said that all through Telangana the extraordinary “crowd repsonse of the public was like a booster dose.” He also went on to say that the “Congress Party has got fresh life from the Bharat Jodo Yatra.”
And given what we’re seeing on the ground, the enthusiasm of the cadres and the intensity of the crowd response; the massive mobilisations, it would be hard to disagree.
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 iNorth. 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. Current District Name: Medak
2. The district has several centres of tourist interest including the Narsapur forest, which is home to a variety of trees, and many lakes and supports wildlife.
3. Medak Fort and Alladurg Temple are also major places to visit by tourists.
4. Some traces of Neolithic and Megalithic culture as well as rock art paintings are found in the district.