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What is Chowkidar Chor Hai? Do you know where the word came from?


New Delhi, Nov 11: To understand politics better, one needs to often look upto etymology. By now, you might be very much familiar with the word 'Chowkidar', isnt it. All Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the word is back in our lives. 'Chowkidars' are have been creating quite a flutter on social media nowaday which begs the question: Who is a chowkidar?

File photo of Rahul Gandhi

It is one of those old words that derives its meaning from Urdu word chauki, which means one of the four outposts on the periphery of a village that guard it from intruders and dacoits.' It is also decribed as a watchman.

Chowkidar gained prominence when Prime Minister Narendra Modi first used it during the election campaign in 2014 before he came to pwer to convey that he saw himself as a watchman who guarded the nation for a corruption-free government.

But what is a Chowkidar Chor Hai?

Chowkidar Chor Hai ('The watchman is a thief') is a Hindi slogan used by the Congress during its 2019 Lok Sabha election 2019. The slogan was coined by the Rahul Gandhi, against BJP, after raising allegations of price escalation in Rafale deal case.

Chowkidar Chor Hai coined with the intention of conveying that the person who was entrusted with safeguarding public money was in fact a thief.

Congress party criticized BJP's election slogan with Gandhi stating that the truth cannot change since 'Chowkidar Chor Hai'.

Consequently, Rahul's 'chowkidar chor hai' slogan proved insufficient to make Rafale 'electorally spicy', even as PM Modi retaliated by using his nationalist plank, post-Balakot.

The Rahul Gandhi case:

Meenakshi Lekhi had filed the contempt plea against Gandhi for the "chowkidar chor hai" remarks against Narendra Modi, which the top court had said were incorrectly attributed to it.

Gandhi had made the remarks on April 10, the day the Supreme Court had dismissed the Centre's preliminary objections over the admissibility of certain documents for supporting the review petitions against the December 14 last year verdict in the Rafale case.

The court had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale verdict there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the contemptuous observation that "chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain" as has been attributed to it by Gandhi.

Gandhi, in his explanation filed in the court earlier, had said that his statement was made in the "heat of political campaigning" and there was not the "slightest intention to insinuate" anything regarding the Supreme Court proceedings in any manner.

He had said that his April 10 statement was made in a purely political context to counter the "misinformation campaign" being led by senior BJP functionaries as well as the government that the apex court verdict of December 14 last year was a "clean chit" to the Centre regarding all the aspects of the Rafale deal.

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