From Bharat Jodo to Jan Aakrosh: The Yatra lives on

Source– The post is based on the article “From Bharat Jodo to Jan Aakrosh: The Yatra lives on” published in The Indian Express on 30th December 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Polity

Relevance– Issues related to electoral [politics

News– The article explains the historical background and relevance of political yatras.

An opposition party leader is undertaking Bharat Jodo Yatra. In Behar, party in power will undertake another pan-state yatra. In Rajasthan also, opposition has been on a Jan Aakrosh Yatra since December 1.

What is the history of political yatras?

The idea of yatra has persisted since the days of Mahatma Gandhi. Despite Advances in the digital communication space, it refuses to fade away.

Its resilience shows that politics is essentially about people and personal contact remains key.

Gandhi awakened a nation against the colonial rulers with the Salt March in 1930. It showcased the Yatra as a powerful instrument of political assertion.

What are the purposes served by these yatra?

Over the years, yatra has been used to serve various purposes. These are used as a mobilisational tool and force multiplier. Sometimes they are undertaken for mere assertions of relevance.

Chandra Shekhar, could emerge as the country’s premier Opposition leader after his Bharat Yatra in 1983.

L K Advani’s Rath Yatra for a Ram temple at Ayodhya polarised the country and turned around the political fortunes of the BJP.

Nitish Kumar has undertaken several yatras as chief minister. His yatras are aimed at projecting the persona and achievements of the government in Bihar.

Are yatras enough to achieve political aims?

The yatra is not enough. Much work is needed to be done for its lasting effect.

A robust organisation is necessary to harness and channelise the energy generated by a yatra. It is required to build on its message and take it to the voters.

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