Published By: Saurabh Verma
Last Updated: October 03, 2023, 19:33 IST
Women table tennis players discussing nuances of their game, a group of girls breaking into song, an artist sharing her thoughts on caste discrimination… those and some more were vignettes from “real India” that Rahul Gandhi got a glimpse of as he travelled by train from Bilaspur to Raipur recently.
The Congress on Tuesday put out an over 13-minute video from the two-hour train journey, which the party described as a continuation of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and their former president’s efforts to unite the country.
Gandhi also shared a video of his journey on September 25 during his recent visit to Chhattisgarh. Among those travelling with him was Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. “Transporting crores of people to their destinations, reflecting the diversity of the country, Indian Railways is truly a reflection of India,” the former Congress chief said on X.
बिलासपुर से रायपुर तक छोटी सी रेल यात्रा में दिखी भारत की झलक!करोड़ों लोगों को मंज़िलों तक पहुंचाती, देश की विविधता को दर्शाती – सही मायने में भारत का प्रतिबिंब है, भारतीय रेल।https://t.co/NACCpb87iA pic.twitter.com/EmZVy5Bqto
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 3, 2023
The party also issued a statement quoting him. “Railways is the lifeline of India in which about 1 crore people travel every day. A glimpse of real India is seen in the train — people of different religions, languages and classes get attached with each other while starting as strangers, shops to spread love are opened and India unites,” it quoted him as saying. Describing his Bilaspur to Raipur journey as “memorable”, Gandhi said he met and talked to many ambitious youth of Chhattisgarh, especially promising sports persons.
“There were many dreams in their eyes, and they were confident that those would be fulfilled. Their expectations and struggles were discussed,” he said. “I also met a promising girl, who comes from the Dalit community – I was very happy to see the art made by her. She is a very talented artist,” Gandhi said.
Noting that the two hours passed by in a jiffy, the Congress leader said, “May this harmony and happiness spread across the country, may journeys be filled with love, may everyone’s journey be auspicious — may India continue to unite.” In the video, Gandhi is seen interacting with various groups in the sleeper compartments of the train. He had an interaction with young women who play table tennis and asked them about various aspects of the sport.
Gandhi also interacted with hockey players and kabbaddi players. A group of girls sang the catchy “Ude jab jab zulfein teri” from the 1957 Dilip Kumar starrer “Naya Daur”. When some passengers put forward specific requests, Gandhi referred them to Chief Minister Baghel.
According to Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, Gandhi was taking forward the Bharat Jodo Yatra. “During this time he talked to the people travelling (on the train). Trains really give a glimpse of the diversity of our country. People of every religion, caste and class travel together,” Ramesh said in an X post in Hindi. “A special glimpse of women power will be seen in this (video). The confidence and willpower of girls who are showcasing their skills in various fields and achieving their dreams is quite inspiring,” Ramesh said.
Gandhi has been interacting with various sections of society — from mechanics and porters to students and carpenters — asserting that his Bharat Jodo Yatra, which he undertook from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, continues with these interactions. He recently also visited Ladakh and held interactions with various social groups.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)