By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
He was 10 years old when India gained her freedom. But throughout his entire life Dr Vishnumurthy HC, now deceased, never forgot the defining moments of India’s tryst with destiny, and also many of the events of the freedom struggle that led to this nation’s independence in 1947.
“What my father saw as a child, he remembered his entire life,” says his son Yatri Shushrutha Hedna, a Neurologist from Bangalore. And as Hedna walks the length of the nation he hopes that the children who are witnessing this historic Yatra will have a lifetime’s worth of memories.
“What struck me today was the number of women and children who are coming out to participate or simply observe the Yatra as it passes by,” he said. “Maybe they will remember us in their lifetimes.”
Indeed that has been a remarkably constant feature of the Yatra since it’s inception. And in Maharashtra, we have the added scenes of women dressed up in iconic imagery, including Rani Lakshmibai. Today along the route, Yatris also met with NCC cadets.
In the afternoon there are planned interactions with representatives of state cooperatives, and also with unorganized sector workers.
Speaking at a press conference, earlier in the day Congress MP Jairam Ramesh stated that the Yatris “Will walk to Kashmir, and we are prepared to meet any difficulty (to achieve this objective).” He also added, “This is a Bharat Jodo (Unite India) Yatra not an election jitao (help win elections) Yatra”.
Currently in the state of Maharastra, 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. Nanded district has been a major place for Sikh pilgrimage. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh made Nanded his permanent abode and passed the Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib before his death in 1708 in Nanded.
2. The district is also known for various Sufi Shrines, Kandhar Fort, and the beautiful waterfall of Sahastrakund.
3. Nanded is the birthplace of three renowned Maratha Poets- Vishnupant Shesa, Ragunath Shesa and Vaman Pandit.
4. The 700-year-old treatise Leela Charita, written by Mhaimbhatta mentions the district of Nanded and its irrigation practices.
5. The district is slowly emerging as an industrial centre, namely cotton spinning and weaving mills.