By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
Bharat Jodo Yatris have known for a while that Congress MP Rahul Gandhi could set a fast pace. For more than a month and a half that much has been clear; so much so, that sometimes we wished he wouldn’t go quite as fast. Most of the Yatris weren’t, to put it delicately, as enthusiastic as he seemed to be about speed.
Today he was distinctly seen to sprint, and for a brief while it seemed like he was running a hundred metre race. We would like to assure the Yatris that this is definitely not the pace expected of them till Kashmir. And you’re not expected to follow Rahul Gandhi in everything.
But it was a glorious moment while it lasted.
The #BharatJodoYatra’s morning session occurred at a more sedate pace, as the Yatris walked approximately 13 kilometres from their starting point of Gollapalli to their midday resting place at Balanagar.
Yet again, the enthusiasm of the people gathered on the sidelines, or those directly joining the Yatra, proved a source of great encouragement and support for the Yatris. We met Satish and his wife Sweta, and their two daughters, Agni (4) and Ambi (9). All of them had come a long way, were eager to meet the Bharat Yatris and indeed spent some time with us.
Also walking with us was 78 year old Daleep Singh, a farmer rights activist and lawyer. Under the BJP/ RSS regime we “Are living in an undeclared emergency,” he said and was walking with us to support the idea and values of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
A diverse variety of groups and individuals also joined the Yatra on this day’s morning session. The a Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union representatives came to discuss MGNREGA and issues of agricultural workers. Popular Dalit writer and influencer, Indus Martin was present with his group. The Social Democratic Forum (SDF) and Osmania University Students JAC were present to highlight social justice and employment issues.
In the afternoon there is a planned session with prominent civil society members of Telangana.
Currently in the state of Telangana, 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.
Midday Travel Facts:
1. Current District Names: Medchal−Malkajgiri district, Ranga Reddy district
2. Medchal−Malkajgiri It is the second most populous district in Telangana.
3. Ranga – Reddy district is known for its famous film studio complex, Ramoji Film City. The major attractions for tourists are Osman Sagar Lake and Ananthagiri Hills. Maheshwaram is a well-known pilgrimage centre in the distric
4. Shadnagar in Ranga – Reddy district is home to to the ISRO centre (NRSC), known for data reception from various satellites.
5. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao won from Shadnagar constituency’ (MLA) in the first sovereign elections held in 1952, to become the first Chief Minister of the then Hyderabad.