Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his agenda-setting interview with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Friday spoke about Mahatma Gandhi's principles of trusteeship in the context of his 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign.
While hitting out at the Opposition parties over their 'Chowkidar hi chor hai' jibe, PM Modi talked about Mahatma Gandhi's belief of trusteeship, adding that Chowkidar in a way is not only a simplified version of trusteeship, but also an embodiment of the principle.
"As far as chowkidar is concerned, I used the word for myself and it was a part of my 2013 - 2014 campaign and in that chowkidar wasn't an institution, chowkidar is a spirit. Chowkidar doesn't mean cap, whistle and stick. Mahatma Gandhi used to talk about the principle of trusteeship. Chowkidar in a way is an embodiment of the principle of trusteeship. It's the simplified word for trusteeship. That I will work according to the principle of trusteeship, I will work like a chowkidar. I am not the one to take bribes. It's that spirit and I was working with that spirit. That is why, when they tried attacking that spirit and used uncivilised language, then it became important for me to tell the country that, the reasons for which I am being abused, I am that. Now you decide", PM Modi said.
The principle of trusteeship evolved in Gandhi’s mind as a result of his spiritual development, which he owed partly to his deep involvement with and the study of theosophical literature and the Bhagvad Gita. It provides a means by which the few people of society would be the trustees of trusts that looked after the welfare of the people in general.
Mahatma Gandhi was the inspiration behind one of Narendra Modi's first and best-known programmes after he became Prime Minister in 2014, with his flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan being launched on Gandhi Jayanti in 2014.