Day 17: Farmers Are Being Looted

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra started from Araria. The Yatra today began by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. On this day, 76 years ago, on January 30, 1948, Bapu was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in Birla Bhavan. This day is observed as Martyrs’ Day. Shri Gandhi hoisted the flag and paid homage to Bapu.

From Araria’s Ambedkar Chowk, the journey headed towards its next destination. People were still joining the procession, connecting with the caravan of the Nyay Yatra. A large procession of thousands of people was moving along with the Nyay Yatra bus. From Araria, the Nyay Yatra entered the border of Purnia, where, once again, people warmly welcomed Shri Gandhi.

On the way, Shri Gandhi suddenly stopped at a small tea stall. Here, he engaged in a conversation with some young girls. One of the young girls was upset as she just lost her grandfather, so to cheer her up, he took the girls to the Yatra bus to show them around, and he even took them up the lift to wave at the crowds.

After walking a short distance, Shri Gandhi saw a Navodaya Vidyalaya School on the way. Once again, the caravan stopped, and Shri Rahul Gandhi went to the school to meet the Principal, teachers, and students. The students asked Shri Gandhi several questions. Many photos and selfies were taken, and after wishing the students good luck for the future, Shri Rahul Gandhi left.

Upon reaching Purnia, Shri Gandhi held a meeting with the farmers of Seemanchal in a traditional setting. In the meeting, the farmers informed Shri Gandhi about the false promises made by the Modi government in the last ten years and explained their difficult situations. Shri Gandhi assured the farmers of raising their issues in the Parliament and spoke to them about farm justice.

Shri Gandhi said, ‘Farmers are being pressurised from all sides. Your land is being taken away and is being gifted to big industrialists like Adani. Similarly, pressure is exerted on you regarding fertilisers and seeds, and then your money is taken away. Then Narendra Modi introduced three black laws, and what was yours, he tried to take away in front of your eyes. But all the country’s farmers stood together against it. That’s why I say your life has been saved. I believe that farmers are the backbone of this country. And, strangely, the debt of 14 lakh crore of billionaires can be waived off. It can be Adani’s or Mallya’s, but the farmers’ debt cannot be forgiven. If the farmers’ debt is not to be waived off, then the debt of billionaires should not be waived off either. Why is this injustice happening?’

After lunch, a massive rally of the Congress party was organised in Purnia’s Rangbhoomi Maidan. Lakhs of people gathered to listen to the President of the Indian National Congress, Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, and Shri Rahul Gandhi. On the stage, a ten-kilogram garland made of makhana (fox nuts) was brought to welcome Mr. Rahul Gandhi, highlighting Seemanchal’s identity. The recognition of Bihar is also spread internationally through makhana. The fact that it has received a Geographical Indication (GI) tag indicates the possibilities in the food industry in Bihar.

Congress President Shri Mallikarjun Kharge was supposed to come to Bihar by plane, but as the Modi government has been practising retaliatory politics, citing the bad weather, they stopped his plane from landing in Bihar. As a result, Shri Kharge could not reach Purnia. However, he addressed the audience present in the meeting through a video message.

He attacked the BJP government, saying, ‘Bihar, which is the land of Gautam Budha, Lord Mahavir, and Guru Gobind Singh, is now known as the “laboratory of Aya Rams and Gaya Rams”.

In an apparent reference to Nitish Kumar deserting ‘INDIA’, Kharge said, ‘We are passing through a political phase when big people trade their conscience for small things.’

He asserted that the alliance would stay firm and would not be disturbed by minor disturbances. ‘Whether anyone stays or leaves, we are not going to compromise our principles, and such things do not affect us’, he said, while adding, that the Congress party has always offered due respect and dignity to everyone.

Addressing a largely attended public rally on the seventeenth day of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra here today, Rahul Gandhi said, the time has come to get the caste X-Ray of India done.

He also criticised Nitish Kumar for leaving the Mahagathbandhan and aligning with the NDA. In an apparent reference to desertion from ‘INDIA’ by Nitish Kumar, Shri Gandhi said, ‘It is the responsibility of the alliance to provide social justice, we don’t need Nitish Ji here in any way’.

The former Congress president said he had made it categorically clear to Nitish Kumar that a caste census had to be done in the state. However, he added, the BJP did not want to get it done as it has always wanted to divert the public attention. He said Kumar felt trapped and BJP provided him with a way to escape.

Making a strong point for caste census in the country to provide social justice to people, Gandhi said, he has often referred to the feeble representation of the OBC officers in the government of India. He said, that of the 90 Secretaries running the government, only 3 are from the OBC community.

He said their representation was nil not only in the government but even in the private sector. He asked, to take any of the top 500 private companies or media houses and see whether any OBC, Dalit, or an Adivasi owned any of these.

So, this is Bihar’s condition. A little pressure is applied, and they take a U-turn. Why did the pressure come? Because in Bihar, our alliance has put something in front of the people. In this journey, we are talking about five justices. One among them is justice, call it social justice, call it participation, call it partnership; we are working on that.’

On economic justice, Gandhi said, he wanted the farmers, the workers, the labourers, and everyone should get their rightful due. Quoting the example of foxnuts (makhana), he said, that- ‘while the farmers get a mere Rs 250 for one kg in India, the same foxnuts are sold for Rs 15,000 per kg in the US. He said, the farmers should get their rightful due and so should others.’

बिहार, आपने यात्रा में इतनी विशाल 'मोहब्बत की दुकान' खोली, उसके लिए दिल से धन्यवाद। #BharatJodoNyayYatra

Posted by Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, January 30, 2024

After Shri Gandhi’s address, the Nyay Yatra convoy set off for Katihar. The journey halted in Kheriya, Katihar, for the night’s rest.

“Any individual in the country who feels subjected to injustice, experiencing any form of unfair treatment, holds the potential to transform into a Nyay Yoddha. If you harbour the aspiration to become a Nyay Yoddha, give a missed call at 9891802024.”

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