19.9 C
Monday, May 29, 2023

BJY: ‘Tapasvi’ Rahul Gandhi blooms from Congress’ crown prince to ‘mass leader’

Rahul Gandhi BJY 2022
Glimpses of RAHUL GANDHI’s BJY in Maharashtra. Courtesy: IANS

Nanded, Nov 9 (IANS) Helming the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (BJY), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was not a wee bit disappointed when he stepped on the Maharashtra soil, late on November 7, after a 60-day gruelling walkathon spanning four southern states.

Akin to the south, he was accorded the same rousing reception, palpable warmth of the ordinary masses, the sheer enthusiasm of party workers in its erstwhile bastion state and growing attention in the media, both traditional and social.

Gandhi continues in the same mould since the past two months – briskly walking from place to place, in cities, towns, villages, hamlets, with a huge band of avid followers, all marching for the common goal of ‘saving’ India from the monsters of inflation, unemployment, tottering economy, crimes against women, distressed farmlands, among others.

“In many villages or small towns, people of all age groups wait hours besides alleys, roads, highways or on rooftops, and when they see him, they erupt into a huge chorus of ‘Rahul, Rahul’, almost as if some Bollywood superstar has descended from the skies,” said social and political commentator Darshan Mondkar.

Congress state Working President Arif Naseem Khan said that crowds turn up spontaneously, out of love and admiration for Rahul, hail him with boisterous cries of ‘Rahul Gandhi Aage Badho, Hum Tumhare Saath Hain’, or ‘Ab Ki Baar, Rahul Gandhi Sarkar’, among others, but he acknowledges merely with a wave, folded hands or a smile.

State Congress Social Media head Vishal Muttemwar said that the BJY is getting massive response online, with growing tribes of followers, likes, forwards, comments, tweets, besides the mandatory trolls.

“A certain narrative built up by some vested elements has been effectively neutralised, public perception now has changed significantly… Rahulji is being treated like a ‘Tapasvi’ who is walking sincerely for the good of the country,” Muttemwar said.

Shiv Sena National Spokesperson and farmers leader Kishore Tiwari said 500 farm-widows from Yavatmal will go to Buldhana, besides another 100,000 from the district to catch a glimpse of the ‘messiah Rahul’ at various points in the BJY “which has clearly petrified the Bharatiya Janata Party”.

“Rahul’s BJY has united not only the country, but the states, the masses and political parties… The UPA era will herald soon to end the ‘tyranny’ of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi… The ‘aam janata’ wants a revolution and it will happen,” predicted Tiwari.

A Karnataka social worker, Kirthika Tharan, has been virtually ‘shadowing’ Rahul, a couple of days in each of the south Indian states, met him in person, and then drove down from Bengaluru to Nanded to witness his tumultuous welcome in Maharashtra with a ‘mashaal (flaming torch) yatra’ (November 7).

“I notice a huge change in him… He’s learning at every stage, very accessible to the commoners despite the security cordons around him… often he calls small kids or youngsters for a chat from the crowds around, listens to all… Once I just yelled at him, “Rahulji…’, he turned, grinned and joined my little group, just like that,” said an impressed Tharan.

She added how in Karnataka, an elderly woman farmer thrust a bunch of paddy in Rahul’s hands saying ‘Your granny (the late PM Indira Gandhi) had arranged a plot of land for me, this is my token gift to you’, leaving him almost speechless… and there are many more such anecdotes…

A veteran Congress activist from Mumbai Dr. V. D. Patil feels that the BJY has been a huge learning experience not only for Gandhi, but also the entire 137-year-old party which has been ‘recharged’ now, and “the stage is set to reset the disturbed social order”.

Clad mostly in simple t-shirts or trousers, which he changes as and when required, the ‘crown prince’ Rahul doesn’t flinch while ‘borrowing’ the humble home toilets of the local laity, preferring to lend an ear to ‘jan ki baat’ rather than imposing his own ideas.

“Hundreds meet him daily… He is never overbearing or arrogant. He doesn’t start conversations, but picks up from whatever the other person talks, any topic under the sun… rapturously listens, nods or shakes his head, gives measured responses… and endears himself to the other person. Rahul is a very different person now and getting better,” Mondkar said.

A peasant from Amravati, Jagan Rane who walks in the BJY said that for the first time in the past decade, the farming community sees a hope in Gandhi and is optimistic that “given a chance, he can change the face of the nation”.

Other eyewitnesses and participants narrate instances of how he joins tiny groups at wayside tea-stalls, laughing, joking and chatting them up, displays bonhomie with vendors, shopkeepers, shy women, youth, excited school-kids, tiny tots, the local rural folk-artistes who perform for him, civil society members, and senior Congress workers who bless him.

Most feel and hope that by the time the BJY journey ends (early-February in Srinagar), the Grand Old Lady, Indian National Congress would be out of the deep rut and metamorphose into a menacing juggernaut by 2024…!

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)

Source: IANS

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Listen Live Radio

Loading ...

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -Radio Brisvaani Live
- Advertisement -Radio Brisvaani Live
- Advertisement -Radio Brisvaani Live
- Advertisement -Radio Brisvaani Live

Latest Articles

Download Our Apps


News From India

World News

Quad in search of a peaceful & prosperous Indo-Pacific: Hiroshima Vision

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The relevance of Quad could not be appreciated better than now when propelled by their overly selfish and disproportionate ambitions,...


K’taka Polls: PM Modi rakes up ‘love jihad’, refers to ‘The Kerala Story’

Ballary (Karnataka), May 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday raked up the issue of 'love jihad' in the run up to the May...

Most Popular

- Advertisement -Radio Brisvaani Live
- Advertisement -Radio Brisvaani Live
- Advertisement -Radio Brisvaani Live