27 September 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


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

It was a comparatively long walk in hot conditions this morning; a full 14 kilometres from where the yatris started at Pulamanthole junction.  Everyone felt the increasingly hot and humid weather, but you wouldn’t have guessed it looking at Digvijay Singh, Member of Parliament, who looked ice cool and unflappable, leading the contingent of Seva Dal marchers. He was among one of the first to arrive at the MSTM Arts and Science college for the Yatris’ midday break. 

As usual, the yatris were accompanied by large crowds and an equally substantial number of people who were waiting by the roadside. At Perinthalmanna we came across a group of local bystanders. Moinuddin, Sundad ji, Hamza and Rakesh were on the sidewalk waiting for the yatris to arrive. “This yatra has been a huge success in Kerala,” Moinuddin said. “To the extent that if you hold an election the Congress will sweep the polls.”

Moinuddin, Sundad ji, Hamza and Rakesh with friends, waiting for the yatris to arrive.

Along the route, Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi met author journalist and activist Rejimon Kuttappan. In the afternoon session Gandhi will have interactions with locals farmers, and with an Indian Union Muslim League delegation.

It wasn’t an easy walk today and the yatris arrived a little tired but unfazed. “When you’ve resolved to undertake such a significant mission”, said Rahul Rao, Yatri from Haryana, “Physical constraints lose any meaning: We will go to Kashmir and we will unite India (Hum Kashmir jayenge aur hum Bharat jodenge)”.

Rahul Rao, Yatri, Haryana, keeps his motivation despite the heat and humidity.

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 SDM up x in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.

Midday Travel Facts

  1. Route traveled/ major settlements: Pulamanthole junction – Perinthalmanna.
  2. Current District Name – Malappuram
  3. Malappuram is the most populous district of Kerala. It was also the first e-literate and first cyber-literate district of the state
  4. On 28 April 1920, the Malabar district political conference of the Indian National Congress took place at Manjeri, Malappuram.