Neglected for long, the lane connecting the settlements of Dalits and Lingayats in Badanavalu was restored and christened “Bharat Jodo Road” on the occasion of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the village for Gandhi Jayanthi on Sunday.
Mr. Gandhi, who took a break from his Bharat Jodo yatra that has reached Mysuru, visited the Khadi Gramudyog Centre at Badanavalu that had been visited by Mahatma Gandhi in 1927 as well as 1932. Apart from visiting the khadi weaving and spinning centres at Badanavalu, Mr. Gandhi and the Congress leaders also participated in Shramadaan activities that included the reconstruction of the lane connecting the two different sections of the society that had been abandoned after bloody clashes between them about three decades ago.
Mr. Gandhi also laid a couple of interlocking tiles on the lane on Sunday to complete the reconstruction of the road between the two settlements and throw it open.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D K Shivakumar said the restoration of the road seeks to bury the pain and differences that had arisen between the two communities. The people from both the sections of the society were made to forget their differences and sit and eat together with the Congress leaders on Sunday, he said while describing the exercise as an honest effort to reunite the country’s people as part of the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” taken up by Mr Gandhi.
Congress leader and KPCC’s Communication Wing Head Priyank Kharge said the reconstruction of the 120-metre road seeks to rebuild the broken hearts between the two sections of the society and create an atmosphere of harmony and brotherhood in the village. “This is Bharat Jodo”, he said. “It may appear symbolic, but this harmony will have impact on the rest of the region. The Bharat Jodo yatra is an honest effort to reunite the people,” he said.
While the BJP’s “Rath Yatra” had divided the people of the country, the Congress’s “Bharat Jodo yatra” was uniting the people of the country, Mr. Kharge remarked.
Colourful rangolis were also found in front of houses on several lanes in the village with the residents welcoming the Congress leaders.