Bharat Jodo Yatra Diary (From December 8, 2022 to January 3, 2023)

As said earlier, the aim of this Yatra is to unite India; to come together and strengthen our nation. The Yatra began on September 07 from Kanyakumari and will pass through 12 states, culminating in Jammu and Kashmir – spanning a distance of nearly 3,500 Kms over the course of about 150 days.

The Yatra has already received an overwhelming response; lakhs of people accompanied by Congress leaders have joined the movement to raise their voice against the economic, social and political issues that are dividing our nation today. The Yatra seeks to address rampant unemployment & inflation, the politics of hate and division and the over-centralisation of our political system.

People from all walks of life are coming together to be a part of this historic movement. It is a celebration of India’s unity, her cultural diversity and the incredible fortitude of her people.

This is an open invitation to all Indians to come and walk with us.

Day 92: December 8, 2022

– 06:00 Padyatra Resumes from Surymukhi Hanuman Mandir – 11:30 Morning Break at Village, Bhadana, Kota

Today, on the 92nd day of the Yatra, the Yatris walked a whopping 23 kilometres in a single stretch. This is by far the longest they have done. The walk today was through urban terrain (Kota city) and there were people everywhere to encourage us on. There was a bridge – Bharat Jodo Setu – recently named after the Yatra and it’s a fantastic memory. The Yatris were accompanied this morning by representatives of the Sarvodaya Mahila Mandal Rajasthan, an organisation working on women empowerment, and also poet Bhupendra Hindustani.

Day 93: December 9, 2022


Day 94: December 10, 2022

Yatra began at 8AM this morning. A huge crowd had converged at the starting point of Rangouriya, Keshoraipatan, but an equally significant number lay waiting all along the route. This morning was a comparatively shorter morning walk, some 10 kilometres to their midday rest at Arnetha Village.

The Yatris were also accompanied in the morning walk by a group of Human rights lawyers of Rajasthan, and representatives of Peace Mission Society. The latter group included a Pandit, a Maulana, a Sikh spiritual leader and a Father from a local Church.

In the afternoon, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had an interaction with students — beneficiaries of Anuprati scheme pursuing coaching for JEE & NEET in Kota, along with the leadership of 3 key institutes.

Along the way, we met a group of farmers who had come from Ajmer Zila and who “had been waiting since this morning to participate in the Yatra.” Another group out on the roads was of MGNREGA workers.

Day 95: December 11, 2022

The Yatris began their 6AM walk from Baldevpura Village to the midday rest point at Laban Village some 13 kilometres away.

In the morning session, state representatives of the Hadoti Kisan Union and also Soochna Evam Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan and Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan walked with Shri Gandhi for part of the way.

Today, we were also accompanied by Reetika Khera, one of the foremost scholars in the field of development economics in the country.

The evening walk was much shorter, some five kilometres to the end point at Lakheri. We note that today, Shri Gandhi attended the morning walk, then joined the swearing-in ceremony of the new Congress Chief Minister in Himachal Pradesh, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. Later, he came back with Smt. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to join the evening session of the Yatra.

Day 96: December 12, 2022

Today was the Mahila March, a day that the #BharatJodoYatra celebrates in every start it passes through, to acknowledge the contribution of women.

At a press conference in the afternoon, women participants in the Yatra spoke about their experiences. President Mahila Congress Neta D’Souza stated that “Women came forward in great numbers to join the Yatra. It is a recognition of the political empowerment given to women through reservations in the 74th Amendment Act by Rahul Gandhi.”

In the first leg of the journey, an approximately 12 kilometres walk from Tejaji Mandir to the midday halt at Pipalwara we saw women gathered all along the route despite the morning chill that lasted even as the sun came up. And in the evening walk to Kushtala, those numbers seemed to shoot up even more. Incidentally, Congress leader Smt. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra walked alongside the Yatris today.

Day 97: December 13, 2022

The Bharat Yatris started their journey from Jeenapur, ending 13 kilometres away at Soorwal bypass.

In the morning session, the Yatris were joined by youth from minority and also Dalit communities. Speaking at a press conference at the end of the walk, Party General Secretary Shri Jairam Ramesh announced that Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi would have a press conference on the 16th as a way to mark the 100thday of the #BharatJodoYatra.

In the afternoon, Shri Gandhi had an interaction with representatives of various Dalit groups from Rajasthan.

In the evening, the Yatris were accompanied by youth from adivasi communities, and also by a group comprising of chartered accountants and entrepreneurs.

In passing, we’d like to mention Sawai Madhopur. 65 percent of the guava production of Rajasthan happens in this one district. It was yet another memorable moment for the Yatris to eat fresh fruit plucked directly from the adjacent farms.

Day 98: December 14, 2022

It was once again a large, enthusiastic and celebratory crowd that heated up the cold winter morning as the Yatris walked thirteen kilometres from Badhoti to their midday break at Badshahpura. Also walking with us was former governor of the RBI, Raghuram Rajan.

Member of Parliament Shri Jairam Ramesh, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and PCC President Govind Singh Dostara attended a press conference in the morning.

In the afternoon, Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi held an interaction with workers and union representatives. The discussion covered a number of topics including MNREGA, the plight of hawkers, AASHA and app-based workers.

Day 99: December 15, 2022

In the morning, the Yatris walked around 13 kilometres from Golya village to their midday break at Lalsot.

The Yatris were accompanied by representatives of Right to Health, a group of award-winning sportspersons, led by international gold-medalist Indian discus thrower and track-and-field athlete, Padma Shri and Arjuna Awardee and MLA Krishna Poonia and Professor Shyam Sundar Jayani, UN Land for Life award winner who is working on forestry issues.

Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi held an interaction with members of the farming community in the afternoon.

Enroute, we caught up with Anup Hiwale, Kansas City, USA based teacher of languages, and who also runs an NGO – Mission of Peace Making in India. Hiwale was in India to “Support the Yatra by walking alongside.”

During this session also walking alongside were noted filmmaker Anand Patwardhan and educationist Seema, and ultra-runner Sufiya Sufi and cyclist Vikas Saroha. Day 100: December 16, 2022

The running gag between the Yatris; as in the morning session they walked a full 21 kilometres in one go from the Meena High Court to the break point opposite the Giriraj Dharan Mandir, in Dausa town.

Speaking to the press in the afternoon, Shri Rahul Gandhi said, “I learned a lot from the ‘Bhara Jodo Yatra’. Responding to a question, he also said that he was walking in the Yatra because “the BJP has spread fear and hatred in the nation and I want to erase this fear and hatred. I am not the first person to do so and won’t be the last.”

Then later in the evening, there was an interaction with retired Chief Justice and Justices of High Court.

A long and interesting day ended with the perfect finale in the shape of a ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ concert headlined by singer Sunidhi Chauhan.

Day 101: December 17, 2022


Day 102: December 18, 2022

In morning session, from Kalakho to the midday break near the Police Station Sikandra, the Yatris were accompanied by a number of individuals from diverse sections of society.

Congress MP and Party General Secretary Shri Jairam Ramesh launched, in his own distinct style, a scathing attack on Prime Minister Modi. Linking the BJP government’s failure to control Chinese aggression border to Bharat Jodo, Shri Ramesh used the slogan Cheen Par Chuppi Todo, Bharat Jodo – to ask pointed questions. “What is the PM hiding from the people of India? Why is he running away from a discussion?” he asked.

In the afternoon, Shri Gandhi had a meeting with civil society representatives from Rajasthan, on pre-manifesto consultations with regard to the upcoming state elections.

The evening walk, around 9 kilometres from the starting point of the nearby toll gate to the Mukurpura Chowraha at Bandikui witnessed the same massive crowds as in the morning.

In the evening, the Yatris were joined by a group of journalists from Rajasthan and also a separate group of intellectuals.

Day 103: December 19, 2022

The Yatris walked around 14 kilometres from their starting point of the Kolana court complex to their morning break at Surer ki Dhani.

Along the way, the Yatris were accompanied by representatives of the Shiksha Samadhan Abhiyan initiative, Human rights lawyer Aman Wadud, and cow herders of the Bhartrihari forest.

There was no walk in the afternoon as there was a large public rally in Alwar instead. It was attended by, among others, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Rajasthan Chief Minster Ashok Gehlot, MPs Digvijay Singh, Jairam Ramesh and KC Venugopal.

Speaking on the occasion, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge told the assembled crowd that “Youth, women, students, those running small and medium enterprises, farmers and labourers were participating (in the Yatra) because the BJP government was dividing the country.”

In his address, Congress MP told the gathering that they had “Walked about 3,500 kilometres and I didn’t even feel it. I’m not feeling tired, I’m having fun. And I’m not tired because of the atmosphere of love.”

Day 104: December 20, 2022

In the morning session, the Yatris walked almost 17 kilometres from Kati Ghati Park to their midday break at Lohia ka Tijara.

The Yatris were accompanied by Principal Economic Advisor to the Government of Rajasthan, Arvind Mayaram; and his wife, historian and philosopher, Shail Mayaram.

At noon, there was a press conference headlined by Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot and MP Shri Jairam Ramesh. Speaking to the press Ramesh Ji stated that the “Impact of the Yatra is being felt by the BJP government.” Shri Gehlot stated that the Yatra “had shaken the BJP government and PM Modi and Amit Shah were afraid (of its impact).”

In the afternoon, Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi had two interactions. One was on the impact of mining in Aravali, while the other dealt with Art, Culture & History of Mewat.

In the evening session, the Yatris walked around 8 kilometres to their ending point at Ramgarh. The occasion was made memorable by the fact that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot carried the national flag for the jhandatukri, the Congress Seva Dal team that leads the entire yatra.

Day 105: December 21, 2022

It was indeed bitterly cold with a dense fog that reduced visibility significantly, a true indicator that the Yatra was well and truly in the North, in winter.

However, before the walk started, there was a brief ceremony welcoming the Yatris and a flag handover (marking the transition from Rajasthan to Haryana) at Patan Udaipuri, Nuh. Speaking on the occasion Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi in a memorable line (which is really untranslatable in terms of its meaning) said “BJP leaders asked me, what is the necessity for walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I have replied… vkidh uQjr dh cktkj esa eksgcr dh nqdku [kksy jgsa gSa---** (“I am spreading the message of love in the environment of hatred you have fostered”).

Yatris walked this morning from Patan Udaipuri to Firozpur Jhirka some 12 kilometres away. It was that same environment of fake narratives that today had Congress MP Shri Jairam Ramesh responding vigorously to a charge by the BJP government that the Yatra was not following COVID protocols.

In the afternoon, Shri Gandhi had a wide-ranging interaction with ex-servicemen, the audience including general officers as well as lower ranks. It is interesting to note that all were against the Agnipath scheme, and wanted more transparency from the government on China.

In the evening session, the Yatris walked some 11 kilometres from Nasirbas to Bhadas Nagina.

In the morning session, the Yatris were accompanied by representatives from women’s self-help groups, and another group that discussed the history of Mewat with Gandhi. In the evening session, they were joined by journalist and politician Sudhindra Kulkarni.

Thus ended the first day of the #BharatJodoYatra in Haryana.

Day 106: December 22, 2022

We see persistent unemployment, widening economic disparities, the destruction of farming communities, and an environment of hatred and mistrust fostered by the BJP/ RSS government. Today’s walk, December 22 incidentally also being the shortest day of the year, again underscored those reasons. For, today the Yatris walked through Mewat and Nuh, known for a leading role in the 1857 War of Independence.

At Ghasera village, Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Another interesting titbit of history is that this is the place where Bapu came to ask the Muslim Meos majority to not migrate to Pakistan. For that reason, it is also known as ‘Gandhi Gram Ghasera’.

There was yet another issue of contention, that of the BJP government attempting to stop the course of the #BharatJodoYatra before it gets to Delhi and Rajghat – using the totally spurious pretext of the spread of COVID. However let it be clear to one and all – this Yatra isn’t stopping!

Day 107: December 23, 2022

We turn, as we often do to Congress MP, Shri Jairam Ramesh for a bit of history and perspective on the fly. Today as the Bharat Yatris walked from Kherli Lala in the morning to the evening break at Gopal Garden, they were travelling through an area that “had been developed as a post independence industrial township by Nehru. It was also the Lok Sabha seat of Maulana Azad”. Indeed the township of Faridabad is known for its early association with the automobile industry, being home to a number of domestic auto companies.

During the morning walk, around 11 kilometres from Kherli Lala to Pakhal village, the Yatris welcomed Member of Parliament and DMK leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi who walked along side Congress MP Shri Rahul Gandhi.

In the afternoon rest period,Shri Gandhi had an interaction with representatives of MSMEs, who spoke about their struggles in terms of access to finance and with GST. A delegation from the Jhuggi Jhopdi cluster from Old Faridabad also presented a memorandum.

Speaking at a corner meeting in the evening Shri Gandhi, in an impassioned address to a capacity crowd, stated that “The Congress wasn’t an organisation, or a national party but a way of thinking and a way of living.”

Day 108: December 24, 2022

Listen – we told you we’d march to Delhi, and we’d plant a flag there. That no power on earth could stop us. We said this.

And yesterday, we did it. So promised, so done.

But now back to the events of yesterday.

As the #BharatJodoYatra entered Delhi and the Yatris got into their first hour of the walk, the driver of the metro stopped his train. Leaned out – shouted out loud “Rahul Gandhi Zindabad!” Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction. Who would have thought that a Delhi metro train would halt in its course for the Yatra? But then it was to say to suspend all disbelief as the #BharatJodoYatra made a triumphant entry into Delhi.

The day started out as usual to the strains of Lata Mangeshkar’s beautiful rendition of ‘Ishwar Jana Ko’. A quick breakfast, and the Yatris gathered together for the flag raising ceremony, sang the national anthem and then we were off, commencing at the NHPC Metro station.

The Yatra continued in a straight line toward its midday break at the Jairam Ashram at Ashram chowk. Rahul Gandhi met ex -servicemen (as part of the Yatra) and discussed their plight regarding their pension arrears. Two days later, the Union Cabinet meets and clears all arrears! Clearly, this is a straight impact of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.

If the morning walk was action packed, the afternoon and evening leg from Jairam Ashram to Lal Qila locked up things a notch. The itinerary bears mentioning given that by now we had well and truly entered the national capital. We walked from Mathura Road on to Shershah Road, then past the outskirts of, on Purana Quila Road – Mathura Road and ITO. Post Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg we moved to Netaji Subhash Marg to the evening break and corner meeting at AnagpalThomar Circle, culminating at the Lal Qila.

Along the way, Congress MO took a brief stop at the Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah to pay his respects. In the evening, the Yatris were joined by Congress leader Smt. Sonia Gandhi and by actor Kamal Hassan.

This ended a tumultuous, inspiring day when the #BharatJodoYatra arrived in the nation’s capital to showcase one nation, one people and one love, and to continue fight against hatred and fear.

Day 109-117: December 25, 2022 to January 02, 2023


Day 118: January 3, 2023

And so the Yatra recommenced after its winter halt in the nation’s capital. But in the new year, and despite the ever plummeting mercury, there could have been few better farewells than the one that Delhiites gave to the Yatris as they walked through and then out of the city. “Traffic came to a standstill as Congress leader #RahulGandhi resumed his #BharatJodoYatra in New Delhi” said the Facebook entry of the New Indian Express publication.

And so, it continued across the entire route which took the Yatris from the Hanuman Mandir to the Lohawala pull and on to Shastri Park, then Gandhi Nagar and Dharampur, via Seelampur, Jaffrabad, and Gokulapuri Chowk all the way to the Dayalpur Police station.

It was a day for great endings and new beginnings. For halfway through the day’s journey the #BharatJodoYatra transitioned from Delhi to the state of Uttar Pradesh. At a simple but meaningful ceremony the national flag was exchanged by the two respective PCC Presidents – Anil Chaudhary and Brijlal Khabri.

The Yatris travelled to their journey break at Pavi Sadakpur, and then on to their night halt camp at Hari Castle, Mavi Kala. In departure from previous days, there was no evening walk, the entire day’s journey having been completed in one go.

Determination did prevail, as it had since the beginning if the Yatra in Kanyakumari, and will continue to prevail until all the objectives are met in full.

Report compiled by Shri Arun Garg