Rahul Gandhi of the Congress on Tuesday reiterated that he had embarked on the Bharat Jodo Yatra to understand what was it he loved and what was it that he bore abuse for years.
In a statement posted on his X handle (formally Twitter) on the occasion of India’s 77th Independence Day, Gandhi said, “Last year, I spent a hundred and forty-five days walking across the land I call home… Many people along the way asked me: why are you doing this? Even today they ask, why? What were you looking for? What did you find? I wanted to understand the thing I loved. The thing for which I was ready to give up everything including my life. The thing that could make me take so much pain and abuse, for so many years.”
Gandhi made a similar statement in Lok Sabha during his debate on the no-confidence motion against the NDA government last week.
Gandhi also said wanted to know precisely what it was that he loved. “For years, I used to run eight to ten kilometres every evening. So I thought, ‘twenty five?’ I can easily walk twenty five kilo-metres. I was certain the walk was going to be easy. Within a few days, the pain arrived. My old knee injury, one that hours of physiotherapy had banished, was back. The next morning I found myself in fears, sitting alone in a metal container. How was | ever going to walk the 3800 kilometres that lay ahead? The crutch of arrogance was gone…A few days into the walk, my physio joined us, he came and gave me sage advice. The pain remained,” Gandhi said in the statement.
The Congress leader, who led the Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, said every time he would think about stopping, someone would come and gift him the energy to continue. “Once it was a lovely little girl with a beautiful letter, another time an old lady with some banana chips, then a man who suddenly ran up and hugged me. It was as if a silent energy kept helping me, and like fireflies in a dark forest, it was everywhere. When I really needed it, it was there to help and to guide,” the former Congress president said.
“The Yatra progressed. At first, I wanted to tell everyone what I thought. I wanted to show them I understood. I spoke about solutions to their problems. But soon the numbers of people became so large, the pain so persistent that | started to observe and listen,” Gandhi said.
Congress leaders have said that Rahul Gandhi will embark on another Yatra from Gujarat to Meghalaya.
Rahul Gandhi embarked on Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari in September last year.