28 October 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

The Bharat Yatris commenced their morning walk with firecrackers lighting up the dark pre-dawn skies at Narayanpet, and then walked around 14 kilometres into the rising sun on an arrow straight NH 167.

It was a comparatively long walk, made much shorter by the crowds that lined the roadside. We met, first of all the impeccably dressed Master Pritam, 8, who had come to see the Yatris, and who got to walk alongside Congress MP Jairam Ramesh.

Pritam, 8, walks with MP Jairam Ramesh and the Seva Dal, Jhanda Tukdi

At Peddachinthakunta we met Venkat Reddy who said he’d come “from a close by village to meet the Bharat Yatris.” He also said that the Yatra has become a major topic of conversation in his village. This was yet another substantiation of our observation that interest in the Yatra was rapidly disseminating across all sections of society.

Venkat Reddy (fifth from left, in all white) says that interest in the Yatra has percolated to the villages

As if to further make Reddy’s point, at various junctures along the highway we observed a number of people who seems to have turned up independent of their party affiliation to observe the Yatris.

At a mid morning break, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi today met with local communities and played the tappu. “The Tappu”, says Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, CLP, Telengana “Is a local art form that was used for communications – such as calling panchayat meetings, announcing revenue collections, etc.”

Rahul Gandhi tries his hand at the Tappu

At a press conference today Jairam Ramesh observed that for the first time in 51 days, “We had congress MPs from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Chattisgarh, Orissa, and leaders from Rajasthan, Punjab and MP. We’ve not had leaders from so many states.” This spoke to the diverse, multicultural nature of the #BharatJodoYatra.

The Yatris halted for their midday rest at Goplapurkalan. In the afternoon. there is a planned interaction of Congress leaders with local weavers, tribals and farmers.

Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, CLP, Telengana, speaks to Yatris at the midday break

Midday Travel Facts

1. Current District Name – Mahbubnagar
2. The district is famous for its ancient temples and historical structures. Pillalamari, a 700 years old Banyan tree, is a major attraction for tourists.
3. It is believed that the famous Golconda diamonds including the “Kohinoor Diamond” came from this region.
4. Mahabubnagar was an important centre during the Quit India movement and the integration of Hyderabad into the Indian Union
5. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, the great freedom fighter and first elected Chief Minister of Hyderabad was born in Mahabubnagar. He was was an active participant in the Quit India movement as well as instrumental in bringing Hyderabad into the Indian Union.