By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
(With inputs from Gaurav Pandhi)
This day the camp opened to the tunes of a timeless classic – under still dark skies, the Bharat yatris awakened to the soothing lyrics of Vaisnav Jana To Tene Kahiye, Je Pida Parayi Jane Re. Some time later there was a flag raising ceremony and the singing of the National Anthem, under the auspices of the Seva Dal contingent.
The yatris quickly got on the road for their morning walk under a cool morning sky, and for once the weather remained mostly mild. Actor Ramesh Pisharody walked with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi part of the way.
There was a large and excited crowd at the starting point, Pandikkad, to see the yatris off. Just a few kilometres down the line, just short of Kakkathodu Bridge, there was another welcoming party: we had entered Wayanad block and the Wayanad Lok Sabha, which is the parliamentary seat of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. There was a festive atmosphere, with cheering crowds and several musical and cultural performances to give Gandhi a great welcome.
Here we met Achalnath, 12 and Niswal, who were patiently waiting over several hours. “I want to see Rahul”, said Achalnath “I like him a lot”. So do we, Achalnath.
Navin Kumar Paswan, yatri from Bihar, encountered MS Batti a local who had come in a group of 15 to participate in the yatra. “We came here last night, and plan to walk the whole day” Batti said, “If the yatris can give five months of their lives for India, surely I can give one day”.
In the afternoon Gandhi has two engagements. One where he will have a few moments with the Kerala Pradesh Yatris, followed by a launch of the KPCC Congress Unit Committee app.
Today we commemorate the 115th birth anniversary of one of India’s eternal heroes, Bhagat Singh, revolutionary and freedom fighter.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is presently in the state of Kerala. Over 19 days in the state, it wil 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 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.
Source for ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)
Midday Travel Facts
1. Route travelled/ major settlements: Pandikkad – Wandoor Junction .
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.