Yatras have changed India’s history; ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will change its future: Yogendra Yadav

“Our morale is high. We are determined to complete the yatra. Small obstacles cannot stop us,” said Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar while participating in an online event along with Yogendra Yadav

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi continues with his Bharat Jodo yatra in Kerala, on Sept 11, 2022
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi continues with his Bharat Jodo yatra in Kerala, on Sept 11, 2022

NH Political Bureau

The three primary objectives of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ are to understand and address the economic inequality in the country; bring communities closer while respecting their uniqueness, and awaken the masses against the “followers of the Britishers”, Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar said while participating in a ‘Twitter space’ hosted by Swaraj Abhiyan founder Yogendra Yadav on Thursday night.

He also pointed out that it wasn’t the outcome of the yatra that was important, but the process behind it.  

“It is a life-changing experience…We meet people of different colour, culture, religion and region every day to understand our country better…,” said Kanhaiya, one of the 117 Congress leaders marching from Kanyakumari to Kashmir as part of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.  

Recalling the suffering of the migrant workers forced to walk for thousands of kilometers following the sudden lockdown announced by PM Narendra Modi in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, Kanhaiya told listeners, “Now, I can feel their pain…my feet have blisters...walking on foot without food, water and shelter…Those sitting in power don’t understand the pain of the poor, the farmers, the workers, but we do”.  

 “Almost 90 percent of the padayatris’ have developed blisters on their feet, but they are walking because they are determined to end the divisive rule of the BJP, which follows the divide and rule policy deployed by the Britishers,” emphasised Kanhaiya during the event.  

Kanhaiya, who joined the Congress in 2020 after a brief stint with the CPI, downplayed the Left’s criticism of the yatra in Kerala. 

Without naming the Left, Kanhaiya said, “While we welcome their right to level criticism, we know that we don’t have to respond. We are marching with bigger goals in mind”.   

The former JNUSU president, known for delivering fiery speeches, refuted allegations that the padayatris had access to ‘luxury containers’ during the cross-country march.  

“We sleep on the floor of temples or churches…spend nights in schools, community halls…sleep for a few hours and get up early in the morning before 6 am. On some days, we get water to bathe, on other days we don’t. But our morale is high. We are determined to complete the yatra. Small obstacles cannot stop us,” he said.  

Responding to a question as to why some states have been left out of the route of the yatra, Yogendra Yadav said, “The yatra is symbolic also. You can’t cover the whole of India in one yatra. Perhaps after this yatra, we will start another one from Kutch to Kohima.”  

“Yatras have changed the history of the country…this yatra will change the future of the country,” said Yadav, tasked to help with the coordination between the yatra’s management and the civil society.  

Yadav revealed that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is also participating in the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, kept aside the time slot of 11 am to 4 pm every day to meet delegations comprising of members of the civil society, traders, students and farmers.

“We are trying to develop a system wherein a follow-up will be done after some time. We meet people, listen to their problems, jot down their grievances...we will get back to them as soon as possible,” he said.  

The ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ was launched on September 7 from Kanyakumari. It will cover 12 states and two Union territories before concluding in Srinagar after about 150 days. 

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