Gujarat Congress will organize separate marches from Porbandar and Dandi to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a senior party leader said on Tuesday.
Porbandar is the birthplace of the Father of the Nation while Dandi in Navsari district is associated with the famous Salt March led by Gandhi in 1930 against the British.
“These marches under a week-long ‘Gandhi Sandesh Yatra’ will be taken out on September 27. They will culminate at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on October 2,” said state Congress president Amit Chavda.
Sabarmati Ashram was one of the many residences of the Mahatma when he was not travelling across the country and was not in prison.
Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani will lead the 412-km march between Porbandar and Ahmedabad and Chavda from Dandi and Ahmedabad, a distance of 368 km, he said.
Participants of both the Yatras will meet at Kochrab Ashram in Ahmedabad, set up by Mahatma Gandhi, on October 2, from where they will march on foot towards Sabarmati Ashram, a distance of 8 kms, Chavda said.
He said the ‘Gandhi Sandesh Yatra’ has been organized to foil the “contemporary designs to destroy Gandhian ideology and impose the ideology of (Nathuram) Godse on public”.
“During the marches, members of the Congress will organise Gandhi ‘satsangs’ (discourses) and ‘bhajans’ to spread the message of communal harmony and social unity.
‘Prabhat Feri’ or morning rally will also be organised before resumption of yatras,” Chavda added.
He said the Congress will also organise seminars, debates and essay competitions in schools and colleges on topics related to Gandhi.
“During the British Raj, the country faced the problem of social inequality, communal polarisation, poverty, atrocities on women and weaker sections. There were attempts to target a certain section, and keep the poor and farmers out of the mainstream. The rulers of today are acting in a manner that will even put the British Raj to shame,” Chavda alleged.
He said the Congress has decided to launch a “second independence movement” through these yatras.