Big on message, Bharat Jodo Yatra is a PR exercise for Rahul Gandhi

Billed as a unifying movement, the yatra is an exercise to rebrand the Congress leader as a politician who has the common man’s interest at heart. Will it translate to electoral success?

On 15 November, Ravindra Deshmukh and a group of Congress workers hired a taxi and travelled five hours to meet Rahul Gandhi. The former party president didn’t know they were coming. He didn’t know them at all. But Deshmukh was confident he’d grant them an audience. “That’s what the Bharat Jodo Yatra is all about, isn’t it? Meeting people like us.”

I met Deshmukh outside a large farm in Washim, Maharashtra. It was the 69th day of Gandhi’s nationwide march and the Congress leader had made a stop to address a rally held to mark the death anniversary of …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

Senior Features Writer