24 November 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

They were by the roadside waiting for a long time for the #BharatJodoYatra to come by. Mukesh says they had planned it all last night – the early wake-up at 6AM, getting together just outside the local school and then walking to the best roadside vantage spot to begin their wait. Apart from Mukesh there was Akash, Ajay, Mohit, and also Tomy the puppy.

Left to right: Boys Mukesh, Akash, Ajay, Mohit and Tomy the puppy planned to get together and watch the Yatra

It would turn out to be a longer wait than usual. The Yatris commenced their walk only after a 27 kilometre drive through an alternately forested and rocky terrain.

But the Yatris commenced their journey with their usual vim and vigour. It was a mostly rural and sparsely populated landscape that they walked through, from Borgaon to Dulhar Fata around 14 kilometres away. Banana and wheat fields bordered the road most of the way.

The lack of settled habitats (and populations) along the way was more than made up for by the enthusiasm of the crowds lining the few villages that the Yatris passed. We met Anjalibai and Ashitabai standing side by side, eager to see the Yatris and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi. “We’re poor people who don’t get to travel much,” said Anjalibai, “So we are very happy to have Rahul coming here and maybe we’ll see him.” We’re sure that they did.

Anjalibai (Left) and Ashitabai were eager to see Congress MP Rahul Gandhi. Said Anjalibai, “We’re very happy to have Rahul coming here.”

And we shouldn’t fail to mention the spirit lifting, feet tapping variations of the Bharat Jodo theme song that Madhya Pradesh PCC has introduced. Two examples have become popular with the Yatris already – Chali re chali jam ke chali Bharat Jodo Yatra; and Ghar se nikal ke pairon se chal ke.

At Rustampur village closer to the end of the journey, the Yatris were met by a large crowd of people who had come from some distance away. Stated Shamsher Chand, Yatri, “The affection and appreciation show by the common people we meet on the roads ever fails to overwhelm all of us.”

Yatri Shamsher Chand (second from left) is overwhelmed by the love the Yatris are receiving from people

Today the Yatris were also joined for the first time by General Sectetary AICC, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. We welcome her, and are sure that she will see experience first hand the energy and excitement of the #BharatJodoYatra and the tremendous impact it is creating.

The Yatris were joined by General Secretary AICC, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, today.

Currently in the state of Madhya 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. District name: Khandwa
2. Pandit Makhanlal Chaturvedi power and writer, winner of the first Sabitya Akademi Award in Hindi was born in Khandwa district.
3. The district of Khandwa is facing an employment crisis, with lakhs migrating every year looking for jobs.
4. Legendary actors and artists brothers Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar and Anoop Kumar were born in Khandwa.