In an opinion piece published in the New York Times on the occasion of the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Narendra Modi said Gandhi gave Indians and others across the world a doctrine of trusteeship in which the socio-economic welfare of the poor was paramount.
“Inspired by that, we should think about a spirit of ownership. We as inheritors of the earth are responsible for its well-being, including that of the flora and fauna with whom we share our planet,” the Indian prime minister wrote.
Describing Mahatma Gandhi as the best teacher for "guiding us", Modi continued: "From uniting those who believe in humanity to taking forward sustainable development and ensuring economic self-reliance, Gandhi offered solutions to every problem."
He wrote, "As a tribute to Gandhi, I propose what I call the Einstein Challenge. We know Albert Einstein’s famous words on Gandhi – Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”
In that context, he called upon thinkers, entrepreneurs and technological leaders to lead from the front in spreading Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas through innovation.
Gandhi, Modi penned, had the unique ability to be the bridge between some of the greatest contradictions in human society.
"Who else could have created a mass agitation through a pinch of salt," he averred while referring to the famed Dandi Salt March of 1930.
Appealing to the world to work shoulder-to-shoulder to end hate, violence and suffering, Modi said: "That is when we will fulfil Mahatma Gandhi's dream, summed up in his favourite hymn, ''Vaishnava Jana To'', which says that a true human is one who feels the pain of others, removes misery and is never arrogant. The world bows to you, beloved Bapu!"
Mahatma Gandhi continues to inspire people across the world as a global anti-apartheid and freedom struggle icon with his non-violent approach to establishing peace. The core principles Gandhi believed in was truth (Satya), non-violence (ahimsa), cleanliness and equality as the golden rules of life for every individual.