Why is Yogendra Yadav in the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’? Swaraj India leader explains
Why is former psephologist and political activist Yogendra Yadav, till recently a vocal critic of the Congress, part of the 3,750 Km-walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir?
On the fourth day of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, mainstream media turned its attention to political activist and one of the founders of Swaraj India Yogendra Yadav. Wasn’t he a part of the Anna Hazare-led ‘India Against Corruption’ movement in 2011 that eventually led to the electoral defeat of the Congress-led UPA? Isn’t he the same person who had publicly questioned the existence of the Congress and wished its demise? Why then is he walking along side Congress leaders today?
Faced with aggressive questioning, Yadav on Saturday sought to set the record straight. He does not regret participating in the Anna Hazare-led movement because corruption was an issue then, he told multiple TV channels. But he is ashamed that people who came to power riding on the anti-corruption movement have turned out to be worse.
Yes, Bharat Jodo Yatra is an initiative of the Congress and he himself is part of Swaraj India, participating along with representatives of various other civil society organisations, Yadav explained. Yes, Rahul Gandhi is indeed leading the Yatra, which may or may not give any electoral dividend to the party.
But the objective of the Yatra, Yadav reiterated, was to have a dialogue with the people and reclaim the idea of India. Which party is organising the Yatra, he said, did not matter and he would extend his support to other parties too if they embarked on something similar.
The country was facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions, said the former psephologist and academic. The environment is so toxic that even the pandemic was used to polarise people and divide them on communal lines. Recalling the absurd allegations of ‘Corona Jihad’ against the Tablighi Jamaat, Yadav said that the country had to get rid of the poison injected into the polity by the ruling dispensation.
Today the Constitution of India is under threat, he claimed and the ruling party was trying its best to divide the country and people to win elections. The Emergency in the mid-1970s threatened democracy but the present situation, in which winning elections has become the only objective of governance, threatens to split the country.
Miseries of the people had increased manifold but the mainstream media was being used to divert people’s attention. It had, therefore, become necessary to interact directly with the people and tell them what is at stake.
Differences of opinion are no longer important. What is of utmost importance is for people to come together and save this country from breaking.