'March To Unite India' Reaches Half-Way Mark

Indian National Congress' nationwide 3,570-km Bharat Jodo Yatra, or Unite India March, passed its halfway mark as it crossed the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh – ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – on Tuesday.

'March To Unite India' Reaches Half-Way Mark
Image credit: Twitter [via The Print]

Facts

  • Indian National Congress' nationwide 3,570-km Bharat Jodo Yatra, or Unite India March, passed its halfway mark as it crossed the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh – ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – on Tuesday.
  • Led by prominent Congress leader and Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi, the Yatra started from India's southernmost city of Kanyakumari on September 7 and is expected to end in Srinagar – located in the heart of the Kashmir valley – in early 2023.
  • After reaching the milestone on the 83rd day, Gandhi offered prayers and accused the PM of fulfilling the desires of only the "two people" who worship him – in a supposed reference to business tycoons Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani.
  • According to Congress Pres. Mallikarjun Kharge, the Yatra is an attempt to unite Indians against "divisive forces," "connect people with an ideology," and maintain "the spirit of the constitution."
  • Sharing the same sentiments, Rahul Gandhi said, "Bharat Jodo Yatra is bigger than Congress. This Yatra is not to raise political issues, it's to stop the spread of hate in the country and to raise concerns of unemployment."
  • Meanwhile, BJP's national Pres. J P Nadda alleges Rahul Gandhi's Yatra is a sham and part of Congress' "Bharat Todo" (Divide India) agenda.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Outlook India, Hindustan Times, Daily Guardian, Economic Times, and Indian Express.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by Siasat. The overwhelming response Bharat Jodo Yatra has received from regional parties, celebrities, and activists across the country shows it has the potential to unite people opposed to BJP’s brand of politics. By focusing on issues like communalism, the Yatra has already been successful in bringing people together to protect India’s cultural diversity and the Constitution.
  • Right narrative, as provided by Organiser. Rather than showing people how it plans to build the India of its dream, Congress is trying to create hatred toward its political opponents. The Yatra is, at best, the Gandhi family’s latest stunt to win favor and divert media and public attention away from the National Herald money laundering case.
  • Cynical narrative, as provided by BBC. Congress is finally taking steps to reverse its decline, reconnecting with voters and promoting grassroots engagement to rejuvenate the organization. Yet, the party has a long way to go to recover its image. Only time will tell if Rahul Gandhi — who has failed to piece together his own party so far — can go out to unite the country and protect its constitutional values.

Predictions