Whether Bharat Jodo Yatra is a success or not, depends on who you speak to. But the ongoing150-day movement did garner all that it set out for; press, publicity, social media presence, a cult of followers and unsettled detractors.
On Friday, Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra entered its 65th day as he continued his walkathon from Nanded to Hingoli. Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been a part of Rahul Gandhi's Padyatra since the beginning, briefed the media in Nanded, Maharashtra on Friday explaining the idea behind the Padyatra.
The five-month long endeavour began at Kaniya Kumari on September 7, 2022. After covering a span of 3,570 kms spread through 12 states in roughly 150 days, it will end at Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian National Congress has stated that its mass outreach programme aims at highlighting, "social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation." In a nation where, from television commercials to history, everything has become politicised and a point of contention, the mass movement has its intention in the right place, stressed Kanhaiya Kumar.
Bharat Jodo Yatra -- electoral or political?
Throughout the Padyatra, Rahul Gandhi's interaction with the younger generations, little children, including the girl child, has garnered specific attention. On Friday, the party spokesperson shared that Rahul Gandhi gifted a laptop to Sarvesh Hatne. Rahul Gandhi had met the youngster during his yatra in Nanded wherein he had expressed his desire to become a software engineer but inability to do so because of a lack of computer.
While the Congress party has stated that yatra is strictly an endeavour to stop the polarisation in the nation, there is no denying the electoral mileage it'll fetch. Earlier in the day, during a press conference, Jairam Ramesh, said, "That the yatra was not going through election states as INC did not want attention to be diverted from the party's poll related preparations there."
Stressing upon the same point, on Friday, Kanhaiya Kumar said, "The objective of this yatra is to unite people emotionally in this diverse land. We have to be united not only geographically but emotionally." He also said that there is a difference between a political yatra and an electoral one and, "everything in politics is not for electoral gains."
So who divided the nation?
Slamming the BJP and responding to criticism that Congress divided the country 75 years ago, Kumar said, "There cannot be a greater untruth than this. Pakistan founder Jinnah wasn't a practising Muslim, but he played the politics of Muslim identity, while Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a Muslim scholar, who laid the foundation of modern education in independent India."
The Maharashtra-leg of the schedule comes to an end on November 21st.