25 September 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
(With inputs from Gaurav Pandhi)

For once the early cool persisted through the morning as the #BharatJodoYatra walked a ‘leisurely’ 10 kilometres through tree-lined, winding roads from its commencement in Thiroor to the midday break at St. Francis Xavier’s Forane Church in Wadakkanchery. “It’s becoming easier now” said Ajay Patel, Yatri from Madhya Pradesh, “8-10 kilometres doesn’t feel like much”. More than two weeks into the yatra, the yatris are slowly becoming more acclimatised to the gruelling schedule.

Today Congress leader Rahul Gandhi walked with ASHA workers for a while. In the morning he was joined by Congress leader Deepender Hooda. Meanwhile local citizens were lined alongside the towns and the highway all across the route, all hoping to catch a glimpse of the yatra.

And together they represented the amazing diversity that is India. We met S Yusuf, businessman, who had been waiting by the road for the yatra for 2 hours. He has no political affiliation, but he came to see the yatra because, “Rahul Gandhi is a good man.”

S Yusuf, Businessman, “I have no political affiliation, but am here because Rahul is a good man.”

Then we came across Anton, 6, who was visibly excited just at the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Gandhi. “I can’t wait to see him”, he said.

Why is the Congress Party walking the Bharat Jodo Yatra we asked Vijayan. “To ensure the BJP is defeated, he replied, “And that’s a laudable objective”. No wonder that the yatris are highly motivated to walk every single day.

Today, we would also like to remember Aryadan Muhammed, Congress party leader, and the former Minister for Electricity and Transport in Kerala, who passed away this morning. Speaking at a press conference, Gandhi took the occasion to expresses his condolences.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra is presently in the state of Kerala. Over 19 days in the state, it will cover 7 districts over 450 kilometres, before it commences in Karnataka on October 1.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Srinagar in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.

Source for ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)

Midday Travel Facts

1. Route traveled/ major settlements: Thiroor – Wadakkanchery
2. Current District Name – Thrissur
3. The Indian Independence Movement gained momentum after a committee of the Indian National Congress was formed in Thrissur district in 1919.
4. The Guruvayur Satyagraha, a nationwide movement for temple entry and against untouchability started in Thrissur, led by Gandhi discipline K.Kelappan, who was also a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress.
5. The district of Thrissur was a major participant in Gandhiji’s call for action during the Civil Disobedience Movement.