By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
The Bharat Jodo Yatris commenced their day at Mayasandra to a packed schedule, the first half of which entailed a series of on the road interactions, a walk through rural communities and a press conference at the midday break point of Aralikere Palya Village, Turuvekere.
Part of the walk was through – as Yatri Keshav Chand Yadav puts it – “a rural, farming landscape, with coconut trees lining the roads and fields in the backdrop.” Engaging with the locals who’d lined the roads to watch the yatris, Yadav says that “Based on conversations it is clear that there is deep dissatisfaction with the BJP government and its policies.”
In the morning Congress leader Rahul Gandhi met with writer and activist Du. Saraswati. Also present were a diverse group of individuals representing manual scavengers, sweepers garment workers contract workers of ITI, sex workers union, transgenders union and graveyard workers.
Individuals who have joined the yatra of their own accord speak for all of us. Vijay, a marathon runner says that “By the time this yatra reaches Madhya Pradesh, people will realise that India is not just for Hindus or Muslims, India is for all Indians.”
On the route we met Sabreena, a recent engineering graduate, who said that under the current BJP regime it was proving challenging to get jobs. “We feel completely ignored by the current government.”
This afternoon Gandhi will be having his third press interaction so far during the Yatra at Turuvekere at 1pm.
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.
Midday Travel Facts
1. Current District Name -Tumkur
2. Raja Ramanna famous Indian nuclear physicist was from Tumkur
3. The district is also known as ‘Kalpataru Nadu’ (land of coconuts), for its production of coconuts.