6 October 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

After a two days pause for the Dussehra holidays, the #BharatJodoYatra commenced this morning with its usual vim and energy. It may be noted that, as opposed to other days, while the yatris’ day started with the usual 5:30AM flag raising ceremony; the start of the yatra itself required them to be bused to Mandya, an hour drive from their camp in Mysuru.

This morning the yatris were accompanied by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and attesting by the response of the crowds gathered, hers was a very popular presence.

This morning session of the yatra was also notable in that Congress leaders walked with a number of disabled individuals ranging from a housewife to a tennis player. Another interesting interaction while walking was with local writers and activists Ugra Narasimha Gowda and Berti Oliver, who discussed the famed syncretic religious traditions of Melukote temple.


In the afternoon there is a planned interaction with with sugarcane, paddy and dairy farmers from Mandya district.

Today on the road we met with Group Captain K K John, an ex Air Force officer and Kargil war veteran. He’d come all the way from Bangalore to walk with the yatris. In conversation with Bharat Yatri Avani Bansal, he said that “One impact of the yatra was that it was connecting people”. For him the “Bharat Jodo Yatra was not just about bringing people together against a political regime, but was about creating access points, where each Bharat Jodo participant was a connector.”

Captain K K John, ex Air Force officer and Kargil war veteran, with Bharat Yatri Avani Bansal

The Bharat Jodo Yatra is presently in the state of Karnataka. Over 21 days in the state, it will cover 511 kilometres.

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.

Source for ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)


Midday Travel Facts:

1. Current District Name -Mandya
2. Mandya city is one of the highest exporters of sugar and is known as the Sugarcane City.
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.