Rahul Gandhi, the leader of Indian National Congress (or, Congress Party) is marching from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir covering a distance of 3,500 Km passing through 12 Indian states. He began the march on 7th September. On 100th day, he has reached Rajasthan covering about 2,800 Km.
Titled ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, literally a ‘unite India march’ aims to unite India, bring people together and strengthen Indian nation. The march invokes people to come together to raise voice against economic, social and political issues that are ‘dividing’ the nation and seeks to address issues of unemployment, inflation, the politics of hate and division and the over-centralisation of political system. His supporters see this as a movement to celebrate India’s unity and cultural diversity and to give voice to the long-subdued farmers, daily wage earners, Dalits, women, children and youth.
The march seems to be styled on the lines of, and subliminally reminds one of ‘’Dandi March’’ of legendary Mahatma Gandhi, a highly revered figure worldwide who, in 1930, had led his followers on the famous Salt March to abolish the British Salt Laws.
However, political opponents differ hugely on the very rationale behind Rahul Gandhi’s March. BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma, a former congressman himself, said we are already united, we are one nation hence there is no need to unite India ‘in India’…
Mr Kapil Solanki, a Samajwadi Party activist from Uttar Pradesh, opines that the real reason behind Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is to establish Rahul Gandhi as a serious politician. He says, the Yatra is getting very good response from the people but Rahul Gandhi is not getting good media coverage. Did the March help Congress in the recent assembly election? Mr Solanki says, ‘’Rahul Gandi did not go in election campaign but people have come to believe he is working hard. He did not touch the areas where elections were held hence no impact of his Yatra on performance of Congress Party. In Himachal Pradesh, it was anti-incumbency basically that worked in favour of Congress. However, it will help Congress in parliamentary election to be held in 2024, people will take him seriously’’