Bharat Jodo Yatra: Congress’ ‘old hands’, civic society crush youngsters’ hopes

Hyderabad: The Bharat Jodo Yatra is capturing everyone’s imagination. It’s making even the cynics and doomsday predictors of the Indian National Congress sit up and watch carefully even warily. Rahul Gandhi’s reaching out to the masses on his padayatra is a masterstroke. His sincerity that rings out in his tone and body language is unmistakable. The question that strikes one is whether this positivity will translate into actual votes for the Congress party.

Just like all other movements and events, there’s an underbelly that can be murky. Many youngsters think of this padayatra as a promise for change and are participating in it. Likewise, Rahul Gandhi’s commitment to interact with civil society in each state to understand people’s issues at the grassroots level is a beacon of hope for many young idealistic activists. However, the hopes of these hardworking youngsters are crushed by the “old hands” who claim years of public service and have taken control of the coordination of civil society interaction with RaGa. Passes for interaction are issued or denied arbitrarily. There have been murmurs of how civil society events are being monopolised by this handful of organizers. Yogendra Yadav who liaises between the civil society and the party perhaps is unaware of the shenanigans that take place wherein the same old faces appear in meeting after meeting, favourites and friends are accommodated at the cost of those who work quietly for the underprivileged.

Even more shocking is that people of notoriety known for land grabbing and corruption are placed in charge of important committees that oversee the logistics for such a mass movement. One can only shudder at the thought of precious resources in the hands of the unscrupulous. These logistics are in the control of the party and it’s time that the party sits up and thinks whether the societal change that it’s seeking is cosmetic or real.

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One cannot expect Rahul Gandhi who is on a mission to know the nuances and details specific to each area but one does expect more integrity from those involved in the process especially the conscience keepers- the civil society leadership.

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