The so-called grand old party, the Indian National Congress, started a yatra from Kanyakumari to Jammu and Kashmir on September 7, 2022. It named it Bharat “Jodo” Yatra and projected it as a yatra for unifying India and spreading love.
Ironically, Congress decided to unify and spread the message of love only in 12 States out of the 28 States in India. Of the 3,570 kms planned to be covered in 150 days, one is not sure how much actual padyatra (walking) will be undertaken but we can leave that aside. It is being said that 230 people are accompanying their leader Rahul Gandhi in this yatra. The news that catches our eyes is the facilities provided to these so-called “yatris” and the crores of money spent. It is being said that nearly 50 to 60 luxury caravans have been arranged for the yatris. India Today has painstakingly fact-checked this and is claiming this news to be “mostly false”. Does that mean there can be a small element of truth in this? Rahul Gandhi started this yatra after paying respects to his late father by visiting his memorial in Sriperumbudur. However, on the other side, he has allied with MK Stalin, who also hugged Perarivalan, who was convicted for his father’s assassination. None of this makes sense but let us leave all this aside too.
Projecting Gandhi Scion As President
Let us come to the moot point here. What can be the real intent of this yatra? Only 12 States are being covered. The States where election dates are near have been carefully avoided. The inference then is that this yatra is not targeting the elections. This yatra appears to be an attempt to project Rahul Gandhi’s image within the party as the only leader that can attract people and this will help him to again become the party President in the so-called election coming up within the party. They also seem to have a plan B. In case this yatra becomes a flop like Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, they will appoint someone loyal like Ashok Gehlot as the president and keep the remote control with them. Even the common man can infer that this yatra touches less than half the States and cannot unify the whole Bharat and this is being done with an ulterior motive which has nothing to do with the country. The Congress claims that their intent is to spread love against BJP’s hateful and divisive agenda and to talk about issues like inflation, unemployment etc. If this was their real intent, they should have spent much more time in States where BJP is strong but ironically, they are spending least time in those States. All this shows that the intent of this yatra is not what is being touted by the Congress.
We have peeled off the outer layers of the onion so far. Let us peel the next layer. In Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi met George Ponniah in Kanyakumari. If one is on a mission to unify, one will not meet a divisive person who has spewed venom against another religion, Hinduism, earlier and had also gone to jail because of that. What could have been the logic for doing this? The unification of India concept gets a beating here when a meeting like this is planned deliberately. Provoking Attack Against RSS Rahul Gandhi who is blamed by his own party members who left the party for not meeting them for months, gives time to a personality who personifies anything but unification. Is the Congress unifying or further dividing by giving audience to a person who again took a dig at a revered Hindu god in that very meeting with Rahul Gandhi? Five days into the yatra when the “yatris” reached Kerala, a sudden tweet from the Congress Twitter handle pops up which shows a Khaki short being burnt. The tweet said, “To free the country from shackles of hate and undo the damage done by BJP-RSS. Step by step, we will reach our goal”. Khaki shorts in this case obviously hinted towards RSS. The timing of this tweet was really interesting with the “yatris” walking in Kerala which has seen several members of RSS being killed over the years. Even if they are opposing the ideology of BJP-RSS, wouldn’t this kind of tweet embolden the RSS opposing forces there to trigger more violence? A pertinent question that needs to be asked at this juncture is whether Congress is trying to spread universal love or is it fanning the fire of hatred between people. Couldn’t they have expressed their opposition to RSS, which is totally fine in a democracy, in a different manner instead of showing something as being burnt and that too in a place where tension is already high? Isn’t this against the principle of Mahatma Gandhi? Is Congress so desperate to go to any extent now?
To sum up, the meeting with George Ponniah and the tweet showing a Khaki short burning in just a week of the start of the yatra raises a big question—Is this a Bharat Jodo Yatra for spreading love or is it actually a Bharat Todo Yatra for spreading hatred? Let’s wait and watch what unfolds next.