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Bharat Jodo Yatra ongoing journey with seas of support

IndiaBharat Jodo Yatra ongoing journey with seas of support

Bharat Jodo Yatra ongoing journey to MP, with seas of people joining with tremendous support from movements, politicians, and celebrities

The Bharat Jodo Yatra on day 78 has covered 34 districts, 7 states, now in Khargaon,
Madhya Pradesh with a distance of 1396 kms remaining.  The mass movement unlike any India has seen in a long time is resounding with action and innovation, drawing lakhs of crowds joining with songs, welcoming rangoli lavish colors richly adorning the ground, songs and dances and cultural welcomes. 

Earlier on Monday, an Ahmedabad-based artist created a 10,000 square feet ‘rangoli’ of Rahul Gandhi on a grand carpet spread over an open ground with many Congress supporters coming to view and admire the work.

Amid joyous singing, dancing, celebrations, endless communication, sharing meals together, and love in action, a revolution of love is evolving.  Broken people burst into tears on meeting Rahul Gandhi immersed in his “vibes of love”.  Maharashtra showers its love on Rahul Gandhi and the Yatra.

A popular picture and videos emerging are that of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi joined for the first time by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is the party general secretary of Congress, along with her husband Robert Vadra and son Rehan in the Madhya Pradesh leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra on Thursday.

In all this, hardened skeptics cannot believe anything can come out of the yatra calling it a waste of time and “Congress should move on to win elections.”  People outside the Yatra cannot understand it and the media has done a conniving job to downplay it down.

The Indian Media highlights demeaning sneers from Aam Aadhmi Party and the BJP  who mostly stand together neck-to-neck saying things such as “The Yatra is of no consequence” and BJP sneering “Parivar Bachao Rally” (Save Family March) along with BJP Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s snide comments comparing Rahul Gandhi to Sadam Hussain for some strange reason.

 Congreess undeterred march forward:  “The steps will be strong when we walk together. In #BharatJodoYatra @RahulGandhi reaches shoulder to shoulder with @priyankagandhi,” Congress said in a tweet.
Congress leader Sachin Pilot also joined the Gandhis on Thursday in the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Madhya Pradesh’s Borgaon village.

Congress workers raised slogans in support of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi and tried to come close to them, but the police prevented them from doing so. Police personnel on both sides of the road held ropes as part of the security for Rahul Gandhi.

The yatra will enter Rajasthan from Madhya Pradesh on December 4, after covering a distance of 380 km.    The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five-month, 3500-kilometer-long Padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Kashmir up in the North.

 The Yatra began on 7th September from Kanyakumari and will pass through 12 states, culminating in Jammu and Kashmir – spanning a distance of nearly 3,500 Km over the course of about 150 days

Three Important Aspects of Bharat Jodo Yatra

 Connecting the masses with Congress

This is after a very long gap of decades in history that the country is seeing such a gigantic movement. There are many similarities between the Congress’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and India’s former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar’s march of nearly 4,260 kilometers-long called Bharat Yatra in 1983 from Kanyakumari to New Delhi for nearly six months. Chandra Shekhar started his Bharat Yatra from Kanyakumari on January 6, 1983 – the same day that his party, Janata Party was swept to power in Karnataka.

Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra has already received an overwhelming response; lakhs of people have joined the movement to raise their voices against the economic, social, and political issues splitting the nation today. The yatra has been addressing teeming unemployment, inflation, the politics of hate and division, and the over-centralization of the present Indian political system.

People have joined the yatra in throngs, even traveling in trains and planes to join the journey!  Thousand have stood on rooftops, and balconies, and, in places, atop the fort walls, groups of children and women cheered the Yatra as it went by.  There is lavish support with the clamor of cheering, sloganeering, music, and street-corner performing artists.  At one place, there were seven or eight striking snowy white horses lined up to greet the Yatris.

The Yatris walked magical midnight, torchlit walks.  People in all states in India gave a rousing welcome to Bharat Jodo Yatra and the magic did not fade off after it left the South but simmered on and blazed with new light as it continued.

Huge crowds got up in the very early freezing winter mornings to gather on the streets to support the movement.  “Sometimes it was hard to believe how so many people were turning up morning after morning when we ourselves sometimes found it difficult,” says Yatri Pradeep Ror.

Crowds of women and youth were participants in the state. An amazing spotlight of the Yatra was the outstanding, active participation of civil society organizations walking along also distributing pamphlets, engaging with locals, and holding street-side culture performances to support the Yatra.  All this was not planned, completely spontaneous, pouring out of the hearts of the public.

From village housewives to women entrepreneurs, from farmers to professors, specialty needs individuals to athletes. Mario, from the LGBTQ+ community who came out to meet the Yatris said, “It was exhilarating to be a part of the Yatra, to be made welcome, and experience a feeling of togetherness. When the noise dissipates around you it’s just the open road and nothing but love.”

Energized Congress cadres will go to the next level

While some critics complain about the yatra failing to see its purpose, the yatra is crucial to Congress at this time.  It will rejuvenate the Congress cadres and enforce multitudes of new Congress supporters. Road trips always accomplish new energizing outcomes.   Political workers who lug around without purpose suddenly glimpse a new vision and rise up again.

There is perhaps a fear that after the Yatra, nothing will be done and all will be forgotten, but this journey is obviously made with in-depth thinking and planning.  Rahul Gandhi, instrumental in building the Youth Congress into a new milestone is also capturing the moment to build strong ranks once again.

While educating the masses about social polarisation, economic inequalities, and political centralization, it also aims to reestablish Congress cadres with new positions.  This is seen daily with new appointees and growth.  While others may be leaving Congress, new ones are being added.

Some of the greatest political movements have been strengthened on the road and this is perhaps one of the most significant steps Congress is taking.

Kanhaiya Kumar, Congress leader said, “Diversity was India’s strength and the aim of the Congress Bharat Jodo Yatra was to protect it.”  He also said, “There is a difference between a political yatra and an electoral one, adding that everything in politics is not for electoral gains. The objective of this yatra is to unite people emotionally in this diverse land.

Digvijaya Singh said his party’s Kanniyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi, was not linked to electoral politics.

Celebrities joining also gives a boost to the Congress workers generating greater energy and exuberance.

Gives an eagles eye view of the massive support for Rahul Gandhi

The Yatra was launched by Rahul Gandhi and Tamil Nadu chief minister M. K. Stalin on September 7, 2022, its main objective is to fight against the politics of “fear, bigotry and prejudice” and the economics of livelihood destruction, increasing unemployment, and growing inequalities. The presidential election of the party was held during the movement.

Pooja Bhatt was one of the first Bollywood celebrities to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra.  Aruna Roy, the co-founder of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), joined the yatra. Yogendra Yadav, founder of Swaraj India was one of the first political leaders to endorse the yatra and join, Ganesh Devy, writer, and cultural activist boosted the yatra with their presence.

Some others who were there were Syeda Hameed, a former member of the Planning Commission, Bezwada Wilson founder of the Safai Karmachari Andolan, Mrinal Pande, an Indian journalist Dharamvir Gandhi, former MP from the Aam Aadmi Party Anjali Bhardwaj, Indian social activist Sujata Rao, an Indian civil society member Abhijit Sengupta, Indian civil society member, Sridhar Radhakrishnan, environmental activist, C. R. Neelakandan environmental activist to name a few.

The Shiv Sena through its mouthpiece Saamana supported the Yatra and took a dig at the BJP, accusing it of being scared of the Congress’ Yatra.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut stated that Rahul Gandhi is one person who keeps friendship and affection alive despite political differences. Sanjay Raut attributed the tremendous response received by the Bharat Jodo yatra to love and compassion. Sanjay Raut said that he had seen Gandhi’s heart-warming interactions with children during the yatra.

Hollywood actor John Cusack expressed his solidarity with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo YatraHe wrote a supportive message for the yatra on Twitter while later a Twitter user thanked him for his support of Rahul.

John Cusack took to Twitter to write, “Indian parliament member Rahul Gandhi is walking to Kashmir – from Kerala.” He responded to a person thanking him for his support to which he said, “Yes – solidarity – to all anti-fascists everywhere!”

Prakash Raj, an actor endorsed the yatra.  Pooja Bhatt: Actress-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt briefly joined Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Hyderabad.

Amol Palekar: Veteran actor Amol Palekar and his wife, writer-filmmaker Sandhya Gokhale participated in the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district.

Actor Riya Sen joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra’s Akola district and walked with the political party’s leader Rahul Gandhi. Sen is best known for films such as “Jhankaar Beats” and “Noukadubi”.

Rashami Desai: Rashami Desai was seen walking with Rahul Gandhi as she joined the Congress political leader along with Akanksha Puri.

Akanksha Puri: Sharing photos from the march, Akanksha wrote on Twitter, “So happy to be a part of #BharatJodoYatra with @RahulGandhi on the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi ji #staystrong #stayunited.”

Actor Sushant Singh joined the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra‘ in Nanded city of Maharashtra and walked with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Mona Ambegaonkar also joined Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra’s Buldhana.

The great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi joined the Yatra too and is seen walking with Rahul Gandhi.

Criticism of the Yatra Mainly from AAP and BJP

The Indian Media has downplayed the Yatra, covering Pakistan’s Imran Khan’s crowds while ignoring the massive movement of Bharat Jodo Yatra going on in India.

The Aam Aadmi Party brushed off the yatra, saying it is of “no consequence”.[94]

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) initially criticized the Congress in a Twitter post that read “18 days in Kerala…2 days in UP. Strange way to fight BJP-RSS”, referring to the number of days the yatra spent in each state.

The Congress justified the decision by saying Kerala is a long south-to-north state, “It takes 370 kilometres from Kanyakumari to go through Kerala and reach Karnataka. If it took two days of rest days, it would take 18 days to cover that distance”.

The CPI(M) later softened its stance on the yatra, with its general secretary Sitaram Yechury saying “Every party has the legitimate right to interact with the populace. Going to people is good”. He also said that the CPI(M) would join efforts to bring together the opposition parties to defend the constitution.

Congress say, “People from all walks of life are coming together to be a part of this historic movement. It is a celebration of India’s unity, cultural diversity, and the incredible fortitude of her people.”

 

 

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