From Jail to Freedom Park: Revisiting an excruciating and exhilarating experience in my life

March 2, 2009

I have been traveling constantly these days. Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh; 15 February), Madanapally (Andhra Pradesh; 27 February) and Bidar (Karnataka; 28 February) were, respectively, the places where I addressed my 31th, 32st and 33rd Vijay Sankalp Rallies. My party asked me to tour the entire country as a part of its mass contact programme, prior to the formal election campaign, and organized my first Vijay Sankalp Rally in Jabalpur in February 2008. These rallies have taken me to practically every part of the country, from Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh to Calicut (Kozhikode) in Kerala, and from Dumka in Jharkhand to Vashim in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

In the last week alone, I have traveled to Gandhinagar in Gujarat, which is my own Lok Sabha constituency; to Mumbai, where my party workers donated to me a purse of Rs. 11.11 crore, collected from nearly 50,000 donors, towards the election fund; to Bangalore, where I addressed an anti-terrorism rally of over one lakh students, and to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh where I participated in a large rally organized by the Scheduled Castes Morcha of the BJP.

Although every event gave me deep satisfaction, there was one that brought alive many precious and deeply cherished memories associated with a defining period not only in my personal life but also in the life of India. It was when I was invited by the Government of Karnataka to inaugurate the Freedom Park in Bangalore on 27th February.

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