10 October 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

This morning, the Padyatris walked 11 kilometres to reach their destination- and then took a bus. If that sounds confusing, it isn’t. Speaking to the huge social, cultural and even geographical diversity that is India, the #BharatJodoYatra route today was through a social forestry area which had to be left undisturbed, and precluded large crowds walking through.

And hence, after completing their morning walking session, everyone was transported to the next part of the journey.

In the morning the Yatris started under overcast skies and a slight drizzle which far from dampening their spirits, proved to be a spur. “So much better to walk in cool weather,” says Akshay Yadav, Yatri. Soon after arriving at their first midday location Basavanagudi, at the edge of the social forestry area, the Yatris were bussed to another location 38 kilometres away at Hiriyur. It was a pleasant journey through developing forests, winding hills and even the occasional wind farm!

It was a large and excited crowd that accompanied them in the morning session. The session was also remarkable for the interactions that took place along the way. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi walked with a very diverse group including LGBTQ activists and representatives of nomadic tribes. Along the way a group of artists displayed paintings inspired by the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Gandhi also interacted with healthcare professionals and Dilip D’Souza a journalist and writer. In the afternoon there is an interaction planned with marginalised communities from the area.

Today we also salute Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, who passed away. The former Defence Minster and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has had a memorable and significant impact on national and UP state politics and will be remembered.

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.

Ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)

Midday Travel Facts:

1. Current District Name -Tumkur, Chitradurga
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. It contributes more than 1/3rd of total coconut production in Karnataka.
4. Mahatma Gandhi visited Tumakuru district on 1943 as part of his campaign to extend the scope of the independence movement
5. Hiriyur is renowned for having the oldest dam in Karnataka