‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Unity March) and the Role of Civil Society
Asia News Agency
The Congress’s success, seen as one of the outcomes of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Unity March), according to Hilal Ahmed (Associate Professor, CSDC, New Delhi) “was one of the most serious political moves undertaken by the Congress in the post-2014 period. It obviously helped the party re-establish its presence at the grassroots level. However, the active role played by civil society organisations, people’s movements, and advocacy groups in this initiative has not been given adequate public attention.
“A number of social activists, intellectuals, and leaders of grassroots movements not only participated in the BJY but also produced a moral justification for it. In a way, the moral claims generated during the BJY influenced the Congress’s campaign during this decisive election.”
This is despite the factor that “civil society groups have always maintained a crucial distance from the Congress to assert their autonomy. This principle-based moral support is a remarkable political phenomenon…”
However, in the present disenchantment moment of politics, “the constituents of political society have realised that they have to take a principled position in the arena of mainstream politics. The support given to the BJY is a manifestation of this resolve….”