19 October 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

“The BJP’s policies have destroyed the economy”

If one person summarises the spirit of the Bharat Jodo Yatra – it was in the person of Sugyanamma whom we met this morning on the outskirts of Adoni. She was walking by herself, perhaps on way to work, and clearly wasn’t part of the Yatra. Even though we did not speak each other’s language, Sugyanamma got her points across. She’s a social activist who works with Pragathiseela Mahila Sangam (POW). She has no interest in active politics. Even so she declared in a few halting words – “Modi, No! Indira Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi suswagatam.”

Sugyanamma on her way to work on the outskirts of Adoni. “Modi, No!”

That was enough. And she summarised exactly what Congress MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted this morning “YSRCP state government is going out of its way to ensure that the public and media are kept away from #BharatJodoYatra … But we will overcome such hurdles, let the CM know.” With the support of people like Sugyanamma there’s no insurmountable hurdle.

In fact, the deplorable state of affairs we discovered while on the march from Chagi village to Adoni speaks for itself. Narayanamma was outside with her friends in an attempt to point out the poor road conditions near her residence. “Look at the terrible conditions” she said, while waiting to talk to Congress leaders.

Narayanamma (front, centre) speaking of the pathetic road condition (that can be seen behind her group)

Ramaji and his friend Andhra were waiting to highlight the lack of business and employment opportunities. “The situation just keeps getting worse, everything is more expensive but our youth have no jobs” Ramaji said.

The Yatris started out to slight morning showers and for a while it looks as if it would rain heavily. But the weather cleared quickly. Earlier in the day, Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi went to offer prayers at the Mahayogi Lakshmamma Avva Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lakshmamma, also known as Avva, who was born to a poor Dalit family. Speaking at a press conference in the afternoon, Gandhi said that “I’m looking at this yatra as a tapasya.” In response to another question he said that “The BJP’s policies have destroyed the economy” because of impact of GST and demonetisation on small businesses and farmers, and the transfer of capital from small businessmen and farmers into the hands of a few businessmen.

Currently in the state of Andhra Pradesh, 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 – Kurnool
2. The struggle for liberation against the Britishers in Kurnool goes back to the 1800s. Leaders like Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, Muthukukr Gowdappa and Nawab Rasool Khan, the last Nawab of Kurnool fought against the British East India Company
3. The district is known for the Kurnool Circular issued by the Kurnool District Congress Committee during the Quit India Movement,1942. Since leadership was preemptively arrested by the British. the Kurnool circular served as a guiding pathway for the people during the movement.
4. Kurnool city, the district headquarters, is referred to as the Gateway of Rayalaseema.