Win us with Love

The people of Jammu & Kashmir received Rahul Gandhi and his Bharat Jodo Yatra with such love and warmth that the local politicians and the powers-that-be
sitting at the Centre need to re-look at their hateful narratives. THE BHARAT Jodo Yatra that culminated at Srinagar on Jan 29, 2023 may have been having different
political connotations in the mainland. But in Kashmir, it should be seen from an entirely
different perspective. Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra and its successful
culmination with the hoisting of the Tricolour at the historic Lal Chowk seems to have had positive far- reaching implications. From Qazigund to Srinagar, people came out in thousands to welcome the leader’s initiative. Elsewhere it may have been viewed as a planned, politically-designed yatra to balance out the fact that Congress had been decimated electorally and that this could be a desperate attempt to carve out a space for
itself and regain its foothold through proactive public reach-out programmes. But apparently this is not how it was viewed or received in Kashmir. Politics is indeed about creating and seizing the opportunity. Rahul Gandhi is doing nothing different.

However, the yatra, has very different connotations as far as Kashmir is concerned. The way the yatra is named says a lot. People coming out in massive hordes, greeting Rahul Gandhi with the national flag and the Congress flag flying high along the yatra road, implies two dimensions. The intentions are clear. This disillusionment with separatist politics is
the biggest takeaway looking at the participation of the people. And then there is an underlying message for New Delhi. The message is – Kashmiris can be won
only through love and affection. Kashmiris have reconciled with their reality and are
willing to move forward, provided people holding the reins of power understand how to reach out. Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra may not be immediately fruitful politically for the Congress party in the Valley but it is certainly going to help the party reach out to its
people. There was an entirely new atmosphere at Lal Chowk when Rahul Gandhi unfurled the Tricolour from the top of the Clock Tower. Hostility was beautifully replaced by a warm-hearted welcome. The administration had rightly advised Rahul Gandhi to choose Lal Chowk over Nehru Park.
Another important highlight of the event was that the so called mainstream politicians of Kashmir conspicuously stayed away from the ceremony. Come to think of it – this is obnoxious and the highest level of hypocrisy. In fact, it seems, the common people have changed with time but politicians have not. Unfortunately New Delhi does not seem to see that people have come a long way while the politicians are stuck in their outdated
narratives. So, this calls for a big salute to our people and their willingness to welcome a fresh new breeze of change and love.


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