The Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra, the foot march that started on September 7, 2022, concluded at Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Rahul Gandhi unfurled the tricolor at the historic Lal Chowk. Here are the 10 things that you should know about the Yatra.

Where It All Started?

On September 7, the Bharat Jodo Yatra started in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, where Rahul Gandhi paid his respect at the Sriperumbudur memorial near Chennai, the site of the assassination of his father, Rajiv Gandhi. 

In the evening, he received the Khadi tricolor from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial in Kanyakumari. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel were also present there. 

Duration And Distance

One of the longest yatras,  the Bharat Jodo Yatra was planned to cover 3570 km in 150 days. It was well executed by Rahul Gandhi. The Bharat Yatris, the participants in the Yatra, covered 12 states and 2 Union territories. 150 select Congress members had planned to stay on until the end.

The foot march passed through Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir.

The Purpose of Uniting India

Rahul Gandhi, in his speech on September 7, while beginning the yatra, emphasized that as he lost his father to divisive politics and hatred, he would not lose his country to blind hatred and communalism perpetuated by Bhartiya Janta Party. 

The yatra is meant to raise national issues like inflation, unemployment, social tensions, and threats to democracy. It is meant to provide an alternative to the politics of fear, bigotry, and prejudice, and to raise the issue of livelihood destruction, increasing unemployment, and growing inequalities.

rahul gandhi bharat jodo

Also Read: Why Is Rahul Gandhi’s Beard A Topic Of Discussion For The Common Man?

The Participants

The yatra, helmed by Rahul Gandhi, also included the Congress leaders like Pawan Khera, Kanhaiyya Kumar, and P. Chidambaram. More than 100 Atithi yatris, who are party leaders but lie on a different route from the yatra, joined the foot march at several points.

Another hundred pradesh yatris joined the main yatra when it entered their home state. Various celebrities, like Kamal Hassan, Raghuram Rajan, Swara Bhasker, Amol Palekar, Ravish Kumar, Tushar Gandhi, Medha Patkar, and Pooja Bhatt, joined the yatra at different points. 

Support By Civil Society

Bharat Jodo Yatra also got the support of the civil societies that are nearing extinction in India. The Yatra was supported by the co-founder of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) Aruna Roy, founder of the Safai Karmachari Andolan Bezwada Wilson, feminist writer and former Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed, writer and cultural activist Ganesh Devy, and Swaraj Abhiyaan or Swaraj Party head Yogendra Yadav.

Organized Campaign

The tagline or slogan for the nationwide foot march is “mile kadam, jude vatan” (walk together, unite the country). Sunidhi Chauhan also came to perform on this song while the yatra was on. Besides the tagline, a logo, pamphlet, and website were launched for the yatra by Congress. 

Anyone from the masses was free to join the yatra by registering themselves on the website. All the updates of the Yatra were provided in SMS to the registered participants.

Rahul Gandhi And T-Shirt

Rahul Gandhi was seen wearing a white T-Shirt during the Yatra. The half sleeve t-shirt was guarding him in the harsh cold weather. The hottest topic of the Bharat Jodo Yatra was why is Gandhi not wearing a sweater in the bitter cold season. 

Rahul Gandhi told that during the foot march, he met a little girl who was shivering with cold and had no sweater to wear. He met many people like this. Hence, he decided not to wear sweaters for the yatra.

Rahul Gandhi As A Family Man

Rahul Gandhi shared many moments with his family members, where he was seen tying the shoelaces of his mother, Sonia Gandhi, while the Yatra was on. He also shared some beautiful moments with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who joined his yatra in Uttar Pradesh.

These gestures of Rahul Gandhi were also approved by the mainstream media.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Style Of Appeal

The simplicity and the walk, a symbolic invocation of Mahatma Gandhi, was also a part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Rahul Gandhi walking with the public, playing games, sleeping in a container cabin, and being the face of the crowd in a simple T-shirt, was an effective way of showing that he was no longer the elite he is deemed to be.

The same way Mahatma Gandhi was transformed from barrister Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the same way elite Rahul Gandhi made an effort to change himself to a mass’ Gandhi. 

Zero Coverage In Mainstream Media

The mainstream media has effectively taken a stance that is away from the commentary on Bharat Jodo Yatra. They have restricted the talks to Rahul Gandhi’s future and what routes the Yatra is taking.

They did not talk about how the people are reacting to the Yatra and if they understand the implications and concept of this yatra. The gap is being filled by the digital journalists and media houses who themselves are taking part in the Yatra. Rahul Gandhi held 12 public meetings, more than 100 meetings, and 13 press conferences.

The debates about the future of Rahul Gandhi are rife. The time will tell if the Yatra will genuinely have any effects on his political career.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Indian Express, Frontline, NDTV

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: Bharat Jodo Yatra, congress, Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, politics, Mahatma Gandhi, debates, mainstream media, civil society, participants, tagline, songs, logo, website, unity, T-Shirt, sweaters, container cabin, foot march

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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