By Annie Domini
It was snowing arduous in Srinagar, capital of Jammu and Kashmir, when the concluding ceremony of Bharat Jodo Yatra passed off on the morning of30 January, 2023. Rahul Gandhi was lastly donning a pheran, the normal Kashmiri coat, as he delivered an emotionally rousing speech, delineating the intention and achievement of the Yatra. Gandhi mentioned, it was a home-coming for him, as he understood the ache of the Kashmiris. Invoking the brutal assassinations of his grandmother and father, Gandhi mentioned he dared himself to confront his fears, and overcome them. He had determined he would stroll the ultimate leg of the 4080-km-long Bharat Jodo Yatra within the snow-clad valleys of Kashmir, and regardless of safety apprehensions, stroll he did.
Gandhi’s speech at Sher-e-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar underneath a fluttering tricolour struck a chord with the abnormal Kashmiris, Muslims and Hindu alike, these with mutilated hopes and dashed desires. Coming from the depths of compassion and camaraderie, its resonance for the beleaguered peoples of Kashmir couldn’t be denied. Gandhi had mentioned in his earlier interactions in Jammu and Kashmir that restoration of the area’s statehood and rekindling of the democratic course of have been high priorities for the Indian Nationwide Congress. Gandhi has walked with each the Abdullahs and the Muftis, placing up a united entrance that was decided to return the democratic and electoral rights of the folks of J&Okay, in addition to Ladakh.
Ranging from Kanyakumari, India’s southernmost level, on September 7, 2022, and strolling all the way in which to Srinagar, over a five-month interval, is a staggering feat for Rahul Gandhi and the Bharat Yatris. Lakhs of individuals have joined Gandhi on the way in which, from cinema superstars to high politicians to former sportspersons, artists, writers, teachers, activists, and even retired military individuals, bankers, bureaucrats and former spymasters. To stroll with Rahul Gandhi on this historic Yatra has been an announcement in itself, an act of resistance at each step, in addition to an act of solidarity with the stroll’s intentions – to heal a wounded nation, to fix the yawning cracks in its nationwide psyche with the glowing gold of affection, fraternity, compassion and justice.
Over the course of the Yatra, Gandhi carried out a number of press conferences in addition to group and one-on-one interactions, however most of all, he fastidiously listened to the plaintiff coronary heart of uncared for, marginalized Indians – these displaced and uprooted from their lands, the victims of police atrocities, victims of communal pogroms and arranged spiritual violence, the jobless and the homeless, males, girls and youngsters from each stratum of society. The Yatra has been described as a “river” by Gandhi a number of occasions, taking alongside peoples from each nook of the nation, a mini nation on the transfer.
What political commentators and columnists have dismissed as nebulous and sketchy, has been embraced by the frequent peoples of India. The message of reminding Indians of the constitutional values of liberty, equality and fraternity rang a bell. Rahul Gandhi strolling in a white T-shirt within the biting chilly of December and January made headlines and gave rise to idle hypothesis about his thriller weight-reduction plan, however when Gandhi mentioned that he needed to really feel the struggling of the hundreds of thousands who nonetheless don’t have heat garments for the winter, there was shocked silence on the a part of the commentariat.
Gandhi, in addition to different Congress leaders, particularly Jairam Ramesh and celebration president Mallikarjun Kharge, have repeatedly mentioned that the Yatra didn’t have electoral targets, however its intention was to drive dwelling a deeper message of affection and camaraderie. That it’s a marketing campaign in opposition to the incessant violence engineered by the large equipment of the BJP-RSS within the identify of faith, gender, caste, language and different identification markers.
Weathering pouring rain, blazing solar and hailing snow, Bharat Jodo Yatra has traversed the literal size of the nation, with Gandhi bodily taking the message to one and all. Whereas Prime Minister Narendra Modi solely hugs world leaders and billionaires, Gandhi has hugged the shirtless little one shivering within the chilly, crying girls venting long-suppressed feelings, poor farmers and staff who spoke the cruel truths to Rahul fearlessly, realizing that they’d be heard. It’s this intimacy with the folks of India that Gandhi has managed to forge within the Yatra, coming a great distance from his early days of being an enthralling however distant political prince.
As defined by each Gandhi in addition to Jairam Ramesh, the Yatra’s coordinator-cum-communicator-in-chief, the three political planks on which the Yatra started and sustained itself have been a) financial disparity (each unemployment and wealth hole between the haves and have-nots), b) social polarization (notably the spiritual divide, but in addition linguistic and ethnic tensions boiling over), and c) centralization of energy (institutional seize by the Modi authorities and the BJP-RSS, be it judiciary, the media, legislation enforcement, academia, amongst others). At each level, Gandhi has managed to marry these three overarching points with the native issues of the state associated to land, water, assets, amongst others.
Gandhi has repeatedly emphasised that his is an ideological undertaking to counter the vicious hate narrative of the RSS-BJP, and its financial, social and governmental manifestations of varied shades. Furthermore, he has additionally mentioned that the non-BJP/RSS secular events within the opposition are welcome to return aboard the Yatra’s grand undertaking, which is bringing India again from the brink of balkanization alongside communal traces, and the continuing assault on federalism by the Modi authorities.
Given the spate of worldwide dangerous press that the Modi authorities, notably Modi himself, has current received, from the damning BBC documentary rekindling the airbrushed reminiscences of the horrific Gujarat riots, or the Hindenburg report on the Modi crony Gautam Adani that has worn out USD 50 billion of his overleveraged and inflated market worth, the primary leg of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘unity’ undertaking couldn’t have culminated at a extra politically opportune time. Although the despotic maintain of the Modi authorities on the nation’s establishments and electoral math remains to be robust, Gandhi’s refreshing direct strategy to the folks of India could yield wealthy dividends in the long term. (IPA Service)
The publish Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra Culminates In An Emotional Crescendo first appeared on IPA Newspack.
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