16 October 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday) : 16 October 2022


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

The weather gods cooperated this morning so that, as the Yatris moved out of camp at Sanganakal,
the sky was pleasantly overcast, and remained so through the 13 kilometer walk to Moka Intersection. And even when it threatened to rain, it only drizzled and that too briefly at the end of the journey.

In the aftermath of the hugely successful public rally last night in Ballari, this morning this morning unfolded more staidly, but the people who came were no less passionate about the #BharatJodoYatra. We met on the way Surendra Chaudhary, his wife Sapna Chaudhary and their daughter Anya Chaudhary. Surendra said that they were from Jammu and Kashmir, and were hoping to meet Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Surendra Chaudhary, his wife Sapna Chaudhary and their daughter Anya Chaudhary from Jammu and Kashmir joined the Yatra.

We were accompanied for part of the way by filmmaker Saeed Akhtar (maker of, among others, the film Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai) who interacted with Gandhi during the morning tea break.

In the afternoon there is a planned interaction with textile and garment owners and workers from Ballari district.

Earlier in the morning’s Yatra four people were hit by a minor electric shock near Ballari. Gandhi visited the afflicted in the local hospital. We hope that the four recover quickly.

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 – Bellari
2. The district is located at almost the centre of Karnataka
3. Bellary holds 25% of India’s iron ore reserves.
4. Sanganakallu complex of hills is an ancient archaeological site where one of the most oldest village settlements was discovered. These settlements date back to the Neolithic Period of the stone age and are considered one of the first village settlements in South India.
5. The city is also known for the eponymous Ballari Fort or Ballari Gudda. The fort is built on the second-largest monolithic hill in the world.