BJY- 'In Your Market of Hate We Have Come to Open the Market of Love'
Rahul Gandhi in Delhi
It was all about vigour, music, dance, huge banners and enthusiastic cadres at the Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra on Saturday.
The yatra, which started from Badarpur Toll Plaza saw hundreds of people with Congress flags waiting for their leader Rahul Gandhi to arrive. With enthusiasm and tight security, there was an air of excitement and despite the cold winter morning, people danced and waited for the next move.
At 7 a.m. Gandhi entered a small stage and was cheered by enthusiastic workers. Addressing the crowd, Gandhi gave a powerful message.
"In our yatra there is no hate. There is no violence. Have you seen anyone hitting each other or being vile? People are just nice to each other. They help each other," he said looking at the crowd.
He further said, "We want to show the real India of love and brotherhood through this yatra. We want everyone to come together. To stand against Unemployment and increasing expenses. We want to show India a different way."
Calling out the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for spreading hate, Gandhi said that Bharat Jodo Yatra is sending a message to all Indians, to shed hate and accept love.
"To BJP and RSS, I would say that in your market of hate, we have come here to open the market of love. I want that this not only happens in the yatra. I want all Indians despite their religion and caste to do that," he added.
As soon as the speech ended, Gandhi started his journey with tight security and hundreds to security by Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
With the sun rising slowly, people started marching and running along to keep up with their leader. There was excitement as people danced and sang "Spread love with Bharat Jodo".
There were dhols and DJ set up to keep people encouraged and enthusiastic as the yatra started its first leg. Huge banners were seen at the yatra and people were clicking pictures in front of it. There were stalls and water breaks set up at various junctions so that people could rest and ease off.
Many women joined the yatra and ran along to keep up with Gandhi. Speaking about the yatra, Rajkumari who had joined in from Trilokpuri said that she is going to walk along with Gandhi till the end. "I have joined them so that our Congress party moves forward. The low that it is going through, I want it to end completely," she added.'
Continuing along people had dressed up in wacky outfits to look different and also encourage their leader to keep going on. From representing unity of religions to freedom fighters, one could see different colours of diversity that India is known for.
People were also seen celebrating Christmas as they hugged and clicked photos besides Christmas trees. "Congress is our only hope. The yatra is a success and its result will be witnessed in the coming time," Romi, who is a missionary at a church and joined the yatra, told The Citizen.
Along the way, people danced on dhol and kept moving. Some ran the extra mile to see their leader.
One such man was Indrajeet Kuswaha who had pledged to walk barefoot till Rajghat. He said he has been walking barefoot from Badarpur and will continue it till the end to support his leader.
"When our leader has been walking for such a long time then we can only walk hand in hand with him this way. This has been such a huge success and he is walking along with us to spread a positive message. We are walking for the development of our country," he told The Citizen standing barefoot, determined to do it all along.
All throughout, locals had come out on roads and their balconies to catch a glimpse of the yatra.
Meanwhile, as the crowd reached New Friends Colony, a huge crowd of locals and cadres stood for Gandhi as he stopped to wave at the people.
A group of blind students stood waiting for Gandhi and said that they are here supporting him in his fight to raise his voice against unemployment and rising expenses.
Jitendar is 100 percent blind and hails from Uttar Pradesh had joined the yatra. A cadre of Congress Jitendar said, "Bharat Jodo is doing a tremendous job in erasing the environment of hate that has engulfed it. On the other hand, there is no conversation happening on important issues like unemployment, education and health, which the Congress is doing. I believe that Congress will slowly rise back in power," he said.
Slowly the Bharat Jodo Yatra reached Ashram Chowk where Gandhi rested for two hours. As soon as he reached Ashram Chowk, he swayed to the music and waved to people as they cheered on.
Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra then visited Jairam Ashram at Ashram Chowk and rested.
After two hours they resumed the yatra. Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan joined the yatra in the afternoon near ITO.
Later addressing the crowd, he said, "Many people ask me why I'm here. I'm here as an Indian. My father was a congressman. I had various ideologies & started my own political party but when it comes to the country, all political party lines have to blur. I blurred that line and came here."
Several party leaders, including Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja and Randeep Surjewala were seen marching with Gandhi.
In the evening, after the Bharat Jodo Yatra reached the Red Fort Gandhi said that the BJP government was spreading hatred between Hindus and Muslims to divert the country from real issues. Gandhi also said, "this is not PM Modi's, but Ambani and Adani's government".
In his clapback, Mr Gandhi cited PM Narendra Modi's recent poll campaign in Gujarat and the BJP's "Jan Aakrosh Yatra" in Rajasthan. "The BJP is taking out yatras in various states. But the Health Minister is sending letters only to us," he said.
He also attacked the BJP for attempting to destroy his image. "The Prime Minister and BJP spent thousands of crores to destroy my image, but I showed the truth to the country in just a month," he said.
Accusing the media he said, "I told the media that they are our friends but they never show our talk on TV. Media is controlled from behind. When I came to politics in 2004, our government came to power and the media used to praise me throughout the day. Then I went to Bhatta Parsaul (in UP) and raised the issue of farmers' land and they turned against me."
Gandhi also thanked people for the love and support showered on him so far during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which entered its 108th day on Saturday, and said after his request made in Rajasthan, people have opened lakhs of shops to spread love across the country.
Congress had alleged that the BJP wanted to stop Mr Gandhi's yatra as it is scared of the love Bharat Jodo Yatra has received.
The yatra concluded at Red Fort as the stage overlooked the monument.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi joined Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra in Delhi Saturday morning.
Congress' mega march, which completed 100 days on December 16, will take a nine-day year-end break and will resume on January 3 from Delhi.