6 December 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

“Dear Rahul,” said the letter, “I hope that your Yatra succeeds… you win the next election… and become the next Prime Minister of India.”

Bannesingh Thakur’s letter to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi

Bannesingh Thakur, 89, was sitting by the roadside when he saw Yatri Satyam Thakur and called out to him. Bannesingh, proud to be a Congress worker for more than five decades, just wanted to show his appreciation in the form of a letter to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.

Indeed, Bannesingh and those like him have been the backbone of the Congress, selfless and dedicated individuals who seek nothing more than to serve. “It was an amazing experience meeting him” says Satyam Thakur, “It makes me proud to be part of the same Congress.”

Yatri Satyam Thakur said “It was an amazing experience meeting Bannesingh and makes me proud to be part of the same Congress.”

This morning’s Yatra once again attracted huge crowds, starting from the largely urbanised Khel Sankul areas. Later in the journey the Yatris entered the emptier hilly ghat terrain, but then “even there the large number of people accompanying us kept our spirits buoyant,” says Yatri Pradeep Ror. All in all the excellent momentum of the previous day continued as the Yatris traveled around 14 kilometres to their midday break at Devarighata.

Speaking at a press conference, Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar stated that “People were joining the Yatra in large numbers. I would especially like to thank people who have come from 400-500 kilometres away.”

Indeed, we are increasingly seeing this trend in Rajasthan and are humbled by the passion of those who travel long distance just to participate in the #BharatJodoYatra. Take for example Mamta and Panabai who we met on the road and who said they had “Come from 70 kilometres away, because they wanted to see the Yatra.”

Mamta and Panabai (third and second from right) said they had “Come from 70 kilometres away, because they wanted to see the Yatra.”

The Yatris were accompanied for part of their journey by women from the Sahariya tribal community, and also Hemant Kasat, Vedic scholar who discussed Vaishnavism and Shaivism.

Currently in the state of Rajasthan, 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 name: Jhalawar
2. The district is the birthplace of a famous Bhakti saint, popularly known as Bhagat Pipa.
3. Jhalawar is known by the nicknames of Cherrapunji of Rajasthan because the highest rainfall in the whole of Rajasthan occurs in Manoharthana town in the district.
4. Jhalawar Fort is one of the several historic fortifications in Rajasthan that were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013.
5. Jhalawar is known for the production of oranges and is called “The Orange City.”
6. Jhalawar is the birthplace of the famous Hindi poet and socialist, Nand Chaturvedi.