“Unity to be real must stand the severest strain without breaking” – Mahatma Gandhi
September 07 2022 is an important date in the history of independent India. Indian National Congress which was at the forefront of fighting the British and attaining India’s freedom and later contributed immensely to building a new India decided to take a yatra touching the hearts of India. This was necessitated as our nation is passing through a phase where hatred and divisions were predominant in many parts of India and if left unaddressed it would lead to bloodshed. Further, the fundamental principles of our constitution equality, justice, and liberty are being compromised by the current government and our secular principles were tampered upon. Time was running out to unite this religiously polarized Nation.
Theodore Bikel said, “No doubt, unity is something to be desired, to be striven for, but it cannot be willed by mere declarations”.
Calling for unity and remaining indoors is not going to help, realized the Indian National Congress. Hence our party decided to unite India on foot. A Bharat Jodo Yatra was planned from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, from South to North that would cover the length of India by foot and enroute it would take people together and create unity among them. Under the stewardship of Shri Rahul Gandhi, the yatra was planned to cover a distance of 3500 Km spanning 150 days.
In the beginning, people had their usual doubts. Will this yatra last as expected? Will Rahul Gandhi walk all the way without a break? Will there be crowds once the yatra leaves Karnataka? Will the public show any interest in the yatra? Etc. etc.
All doubts have been cleared with the strong will of yatris and the love and support showered by Indians all along the yatra passed. Today we reach the 100th day of the yatra. Looking back, we have covered thousands of kilometres and we have united crores of heart. The crowd joining the yatra is exponentially increasing day by day. We had more crowds in Kerala than in Tamil Nadu, which was outnumbered by Karnataka and so on. And yes, Shri Rahul Gandhi is leading the yatra without a break. Apart from lakhs of people who voluntarily joined the yatra we also had eminent personalities from various fields joining Rahul Gandhi with a lot of passion.
The determination of the Bharat Yatris along with Shri Rahul Gandhi who is walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir needs a special appreciation. They are braving heat, cold, rains and snow all across their route and none has backed out of the yatra. They have disregarded their bleeding foot to prevent India’s bleeding. They have left back their families with the only aim of “Bharat Jodo”. Their persistence exhibits the love they have for their motherland.
Special mention about Shri Rahul Gandhi. An important election was happening in the state of Gujarat. He skipped the campaign in the state. He took the decision that winning a few votes or even a state is not more important than a united India.
Look at the support the yatra is receiving. Activists like Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav, Economist Raghuram Rajan, like-minded political party leaders, noted filmmaker Amol Palekar, freedom fighters, defence veterans, sports person, actors and actresses from the film industry have all joined their legs as a token of support to this much important yatra. From kids to youngsters to old, lakhs are participating with great enthusiasm and spirit.
The purpose of the yatra has been achieved in these first 100 days. Lots of love have been showered upon the yatra. Harmony is being spread. The way Rahul Gandhi takes along people from different walks of life irrespective of their age and ideology proves that unity can be achieved by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi didn’t turn his back on people who are his critics who wanted to be part of this yatra. He embraced them and made sure they walk with him. When the yatra was passing Rajasthan, BJP party workers chanted ‘Modi Modi”. Rahul Gandhi smiled at them and gave them flying kisses.
When the yatra reaches Kashmir, the change will be visible. The mission to unite India would have achieved its goal at least by a certain percentage. The passion put forth in the past 100 days would have definitely made people look up and think. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the yatra. This shows how even BJP is keenly watching this yatra. The National media is forced to report on the yatra, They tried their best to black out the yatra. But slowly even they have understood that this mission cannot be kept away from the mainstream.
BJP and other political parties are trying their best to divert from the cause of this yatra. But the Congress party has overcome this by sheer persistence in highlighting the positive changes the yatra is bringing in.
The entire organisers of this yatra need to be applauded. Every PCCs have played a huge role in making the first 100 days a huge success. Senior Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh and Jairam Ramesh who are part and parcel of this yatra need special mention of appreciation. Not to forget thousands of Congress volunteers who have contributed to the huge success of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Together we will unite and reclaim our India.
Jai Hind, jai Congress.
The writer is a Congress activist and views expressed here are personal and solely belong to the writer