Remembering the Ekta Yatra: A Message of Unity That Echoes Across India

Published By : Admin | December 11, 2023 | 15:50 IST

December 11, 2023, marks a significant day in India’s history. On this day 32 years ago, the Ekta Yatra was led by Shri Murli Manohar Joshi and organised by a young Narendra Modi, embarking on a journey from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. This wasn't just a physical journey; it was a powerful symbol of unity and defiance in a period marked by terrorism in Kashmir.
As Jagdish Dwivedi, a BJP leader from Gujarat, recalls, “This was a time when terrorism was at its peak in the state of Kashmir, and it was Shri Modi who had conceptualised and organised the Yatra.”
Dipak Shah, a member of the Yatra, remembers the grave security threat faced by people during the Yatra. “On the one hand, there were terrorists in Kashmir attacking the Yatra and threatening it from advancing. On the other hand, terrorists in Punjab attacked the Yatra to foil it. Yet, Narendra Modi led from the front and ensured that the ‘Raths’ reached Lal Chowk in Kashmir to hoist the tricolour,” he mentions.

The Ekta Yatra, meaning "unity march," sent a clear message to the nation and the world that, India would stand firm and united against the forces of division and terror. The journey, spanning 14 states and culminating in the hoisting of the Tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 26, 1992, resonated deeply with the Indian people. It served as a reminder of the country's shared history and values and its unwavering commitment to national unity.
Hasmukh Parmar recalls Shri Modi planning every minute detail and conveying his vision for the Yatra to cover every part of the country along its route. Parmar had been instructed by Shri Modi to create ‘raths’ with fixed teams of drivers, conductors and mechanics to ensure that the Yatra was a success.

Years later, PM Modi, a key architect of the Ekta Yatra, took a decisive step towards fulfilling the promise of that journey. The abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was a bold move to bring the state closer to the rest of India and ensure its full integration.
As the Supreme Court upholds the Parliament's decision to abrogate Article 370, the spirit of the Ekta Yatra resonates once again. It serves as a reminder of the unwavering commitment of the Indian people to unity and integrity. The Ekta Yatra may have begun 32 years ago, but its message of unity continues to guide the nation even today. It is a message that resonates not only in the halls of power but also in the hearts and minds of every Indian citizen.
Ghanshyam Tiwari, MP Rajya Sabha, shares that the Yatra often concluded late at night and started early in the morning. Shri Modi ensured that this mammoth operation ran smoothly, day after day. From organising bathing essentials and accommodation for Yatris at night to providing them breakfast packets in the morning, refuelling diesel in each vehicle, and ensuring each driver was on duty, Shri Modi was in command of everything.

In his tweet after the Supreme Court’s verdict, Prime Minister Modi reiterates this commitment, assuring the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh that their dreams remain at the forefront of his government's agenda. He further emphasises the government's determination to ensure equitable development and progress, ensuring the benefits reach even the most marginalised communities.
As we mark this historic day, let us remember the Ekta Yatra and the values it represents. Let us also reaffirm our commitment to building a stronger, more united India where all citizens can live together in peace and harmony.

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Narendra Modi: The Underground Warrior Against the Emergency
June 25, 2024

During the infamous Emergency period in India (1975-1977), when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a dictatorial regime, Shri Narendra Modi emerged as a critical figure in the resistance movement. Shri Modi's activism during this period, marked by his innovative and fearless approach, significantly contributed to the underground communications network and sustained the fight against the oppressive regime.

The Beginnings of Resistance

Shri Narendra Modi's journey into the heart of the resistance began before the official declaration of the Emergency on June 25, 1975. The student-led agitations against the corruption of the Congress Party were already sweeping the nation, and Gujarat was a significant epicentre of this movement. During the Navnirman Andolan in 1974, Shri Modi, then a Yuva Pracharak of the RSS, was deeply influenced by the power of student voices in driving change. He actively participated in these agitations, leveraging his Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad role to deliver fiery speeches that galvanized the youth.

Role in the Underground Movement

Once the Emergency was imposed, censorship and repression became the norm. Shri Modi and other volunteers organized secret meetings and took on the dangerous task of disseminating underground literature. Collaborating closely with senior RSS leaders like Nath Zagda and Vasant Gajendragadkar, he developed ingenious methods to bypass tight security measures.
One of Shri Modi's remarkable strategies involved using the railway network to spread information. He would load materials related to the Constitution, laws, and the Congress government's excesses onto trains departing from Gujarat, ensuring the messages reached remote areas with minimal risk of detection. This innovative approach was pivotal in maintaining the flow of information across the country.

Leadership and International Outreach

With the RSS forced to go underground, the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti was established, and Shri Modi, at the young age of 25, quickly rose to the position of General Secretary. His leadership was instrumental in sustaining the revolt against the Congress government, especially during the challenging periods when key movement leaders were imprisoned under the MISA Act.

Shri Narendra Modi also extended his efforts internationally, reaching out to individuals abroad and urging them to publish underground publications to amplify global resistance. He coordinated the collection of articles from the Gujarat Newsletter and Sadhana Patrika, which were then disseminated through platforms like the BBC. Shri Modi ensured that international publications critical of the Emergency, such as 'Satyavani,' were circulated back to India, including inside jails.

Covert Operations and Disguises

Shri Modi frequently adopted various disguises to evade detection. His ability to blend in was so effective that even his acquaintances often failed to recognize him. He dressed as a Swamiji in saffron attire and even as a Sikh with a turban. On one occasion, he successfully deceived jail authorities to deliver an important document, highlighting his resourcefulness and bravery.

Post-Emergency Recognition

After the Emergency was lifted in 1977, Shri Modi's activism and leadership during this tumultuous period began to gain recognition. He was invited to Mumbai to discuss the youth's resistance efforts, and his contributions were acknowledged with a modest monetary reward. His relentless efforts during the Emergency led to his appointment as the 'Sambhag Pracharak' of South and Central Gujarat, and he was tasked with preparing official RSS articles documenting the period.

Authoring 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat'

In 1978, Shri Modi authored his first book, 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat,' a memoir of his experiences during the Emergency. Remarkably, he completed the book in just 23 days, subsisting solely on lemon water and no solid food. The book, launched by then Chief Minister of Gujarat Babubhai Jasbhai Patel, received widespread acclaim for its objective coverage of the Emergency and was reviewed on national public radio and in prominent newspapers.

The memoir not only chronicled the events of the Emergency but also served as a testament to the collective resistance. It was praised for its wealth of information and objective approach, earning personal accolades from numerous leaders.

Legacy, Continued Vigilance and Solemn Vow

Fifty years later, as Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi continues to remind the nation of the dark days of the Emergency. He emphasizes the importance of preserving democracy and vows never to let the recurrence of such authoritarianism again. His legacy as a fearless warrior against the dictatorial regime of Indira Gandhi during the Emergency remains a significant chapter in India's history, inspiring current and future generations to uphold the values of democracy and freedom.