Rahul wraps up yatra in snowing Srinagar.

Emotional Rahul wraps up yatra in Srinagar; don’t fear for my life

Bharat Jodo Yatra was not for winning elections but against hate: Kharge

Prashun Bhaumik | New Delhi | 30 January, 2023 | 10:50 PM

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi turns a little emotional as he reveals why he didn't wear a jacket or warm clothes during the Congress Bharat Jodo Yatra which officially concluded in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar.

Gandhi was addressing a rally at the concluding function of the Bharat Jodo Yatra amid heavy snowfall. Rahul Gandhi narrated a story of four children whom he met during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, and said they were beggars who did not wear sweaters and were shivering in the winter, which inspired him not to wear a jacket during the yatra.

“…Four children came to me. They were beggars and had no clothes on…I hugged them…They were cold and shivering. Maybe they didn’t have food. I thought that if they’re not wearing jackets or sweaters, I too shouldn’t wear the same…,” Gandhi said.

The former Congress president also narrated a story of a girl whom he had met during the yatra and said she gave him a note to read which talked about his “hurting” knees.

“I learned a lot. One day, I was in a lot of pain. I thought I’ve to walk for 6-7 hrs more & it will be difficult. But a young girl came running to me and said that she has written something for me. She hugged me and ran away. I started reading it,” Gandhi said.

“She wrote, “I can see your knee is hurting because when you put pressure on that leg, it shows on your face. I can’t walk with you but I am walking beside you from my heart because I know you are walking for me and my future. Right at that moment, my pain vanished,” Gandhi added.

Gandhi seemed emotional while recalling the moments when he was informed about the assassination of his grandmother and father – former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – over phone calls, but said he the inciters of violence will never understand that pain.

“Those who incite violence – like Modiji, Amit Shahji, the BJP and the RSS – will never understand this pain. The family of an Army man will understand, the family of the CRPF personnel who were killed in Pulwama will understand, and Kashmiris will understand the pain when one gets that call.

“The aim of the yatra is to end the phone calls announcing the deaths of loved ones – be it a soldier, a CRPF jawan or any Kashmiri,” he added.

Gandhi challenged the BJP brass to undertake a yatra like his in Jammu and Kashmir, saying they will never do it as they are scared.

“I can guarantee you that no BJP leader can walk like this in Jammu and Kashmir. They will not do it, not because they won’t be allowed to but because they are scared,” he said.

Gandhi said he was advised against walking the Jammu and Kashmir lap on the grounds that he might be attacked.

“Security people had told me to go to Kashmir in a vehicle and not on foot. 3-4 days back, the administration told me that if I go on foot, a grenade would be hurled at me…I thought to give an opportunity to those who hate me, to change the colour of my white t-shirt to red,” Gandhi said.

“My family taught me, and Gandhi ji taught me to live fearlessly, otherwise, that is not living. But it happened just as I expected, the people of J&K didn’t give me a grenade but only love,” the Congress MP added.

Bharat Jodo Yatra not for winning elections: Kharge

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra was not for winning elections but to counter the hate spread by the BJP and the RSS in the country.
He also said Gandhi was determined to restore Jammu and Kashmir statehood.

“The yatra was not for winning elections but against hate. BJP people are spreading hate in the country. Rahul Gandhi has proven that he can unite the country from Kanyakumari to Kashmir on issues like unemployment and inflation,” Kharge said at the rally here to mark the culmination of the Bharat Jodo
Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar.

Kharge alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the RSS and the BJP were pursuing the policy widening the poor-rich divide in the country.

Courtesy Hindustan Times