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PM Modi asked BJP leaders to go on Padayatra to honour Mahatma Gandhi

Good to see that our PM Modi honours Mahatma Gandhi through cleaning the villages. Hope all the BJP leaders follow PM’s instructions seriously and eschew communalism, hatred towards Congress leaders, and violence in favour of many things beyond humanity. If this happens India will be a healthier and happier place on the entire earth. Padayatra means journey by walking, voyage undertaken by politicians or prominent citizens to interact more closely with different parts of society, educate about issues concerning them, and galvanize his or her supporters. PadaYatras or ‘Foot pilgrimages’ are also Hindu religious pilgrimages undertaken towards sacred shrines or pilgrimage sites. Modi has asked his leaders to reach out to people for feedback on government performance.

As per the instructions of PM, all BJP leaders would be undertaking padayatras of their constituencies between October 2 and 31, the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel respectively. They would be following the legacy of Gandhi by connecting people close to them. The leaders are supposed to reach out to every citizen, listen to their grievances, complaints or queries and give feed back to Modi so that people’s voices can be addressed and problems resolved.

From Mahatma Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi, Padayatras have never gone out of fashion, and the new-age netas are no aimless wanderers. Powerwalking in the dusty bylanes and villages, they are following the course of Bapu’s Padayatra mantra in their quest for political glory. In the past, we have seen Rahul Gandhi marching in villages, eating along with villagers, listening to them and sometime exchanging a hug and solacing people. What he has benefited out of it is debatable subject but definitely he won many hearts. He followed his party veterans footsteps for sure.

PM Modi also understood the importance of walking and connecting to commoners. However, Padayatras have more often than not seemed to help the politicians at different times. On March 31, 2011, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee marched a distance of seven kilometers from Rajabazar to Ballygunge in the south Kolkata. After being voted to power, she marched from Rajbhavan to the Writers’ Building about a kilometre away, but it was enough to trample the left in West Bengal.

In February 2011, former Congress MP and late YSR’s son Jaganmohan Reddy launched a Padayatra in East Godavari district. The walkathon was in support of the Polavaram irrigation project that would benefit coastal districts of Telangana and Rayalseema. Within three months, it benefited Jagan, when he trounced his nearest rival, winning the Kadapa assembly by-election with a margin of 543,053 votes, a record for Andhra Pradesh. Jagan had been merely following in the footsteps of his father, Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy, whose Padayatra in the scorching summer of 2003 just before the 2004 elections changed both his and the Congress’s fortunes in the state.

In 1983, Janata party president Chandrashekhar undertook a marathon walk from Kanyakumari to Bapu’s samadhi at Rajghat to renew rapport with the masses. He went on to become the prime minister of the country. In 1987, actor-turned-politician Sunil Dutt, accompanied by his daughter Priya, went on a Mahashanti Padayatra from Mumbai to Amritsar. Dutt was re-elected to the 9th Lok Sabha in 1989. So, whatever be their calling, whatsoever their demands, Padayatra continues to charm India’s politicians. Taking inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts and vision and walking on the path shown by him is a real tribute to him. On the 149th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, PM called upon people also to make the Clean India Mission a success as the issue of cleanliness was very close to Mahatma Gandhi’s heart.

Mahatma Gandhi originated the Padayatra with his famous Salt March to Dandi in 1930. In the winter of 1933-34, Gandhi went on a countrywide Padayatra against untouchability. Later, Gandhian Vinoba Bhave also started a Padayatra, which was part of his Bhoodan movement in 1951. Starting from Telangana region, Bhave concluded his Padayatra at Bodh Gaya. Rajagopal, PV, in Janadesh 2007 led 25,000 landless peasants on a 28-day march from Gwalior to Delhi. In 1986, Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Rajendra Singh started Padayatras through villages of Rajasthan, promoting construction and revival of johads and check dams.

The varkaris from the Maharashtra state of western India practice a regular walk to religious places like Dehu, Alandi and Pandharpur. Ashadhi Ekadashi , Kartiki Ekadashi, Maghi Ekadashi and Chaitra Ekadashi are some of the popular days when pilgrims reach Pandharpur to worship Vithoba. Mantralaya Padayatra to worship saint shri Raghavendra Swamy and Shri Datta Padayatra to worship lord Dattatreya & Murgod Padayatra to Shri Shiva Chidambar Swamy are famous from Dharwad city of Karnataka.

PM Modi told MPs that 150 groups should be formed in each constituency, which will cover 150 kms, and the party MPs will be part of these groups. PM Modi also suggested that planting trees, cleanliness and other issues related to villages could become part of the tours marches. These yatras will focus on revival of villages and making them self-reliant, plantation drive and zero budget farming. PM also suggested that if possible these yatras should last till January 30, the day on which Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. This is one of the most interesting and brilliant suggestions that came from PM to connect people with their leaders. This can be an advanced step towards “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”.

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Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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