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Rahul Gandhi's 'Philosophy of Shiva and Vishnu' leaves social media gobsmacked (WATCH)

A video clip of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's interaction with Harvard University students has gone viral on social media, drawing criticism for his philosophical concepts on life and death

Rahul Gandhi's 'Philosophy of Shiva and Vishnu' leaves social media gobsmacked (WATCH)
First Published Dec 26, 2023, 11:46 AM IST

A video clip from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's interaction with students from Harvard University is going viral on social media while earning the Wayanad MP brickbats over his "philosophical concept" of life and death. During the interaction with young students, Rahul offered his perspectives, emphasising the democratic model of production, and the importance of deep listening, and shared insights from India's rich philosophical and spiritual traditions. However, his thoughts evoked some sharp responses on social media. Sample this interaction, a video of which is now doing the rounds on social media.

Question: You know your interest in philosophy, in the western cultures right the emphasis is on the individual like -- I need to know it all -- so if you were to bring this to \the Western societies -- because we don't hear this from our politicians in the Western world -- what tool do you recommend?

Rahul Gandhi: Do you know the two Central philosophies in India? The one in the West, the Judeo-Christian one is that you're born, you die -- all of you think you die right? Everybody thinks you die and everybody thinks you were born right? Well in India, there are two philosophies one that says that you never die and the other that says you were never born. So the philosophy of Shiva says you were never born, you don't exist and the philosophy of Vishnu says you never die. It doesn't look it, but all these people running around here they're completely differently wired." 

"If you ask them, for example, what happens after you die, he's reborn. So he actually doesn't have a conception of death and India's got some very interesting philosophical structures. To say that you don't exist is quite, to the Western mind, crazy. But when you're talking right, what I look for is energy. I am looking at the energy flow around that and I'm looking for indications of pain and from that listening then I can start to build a narrative. Like, for example, Dalit people in India are basically told that they don't exist. So he's now completely isolated and he's operating in that isolation. Now you imagine the pain coming every day. He's being humiliated and that has an effect on his structure. So listening is not opening your ears and saying what is he saying. Listening is looking carefully and feeling where is this blockage and it's, at one level right, it's becoming the other person. It's basically destroying yourself and saying okay for the next 5 minutes I don't exist."

This reply from Rahul Gandhi triggered a frenzy on social media. Some users said that the remarks made no sense whatsoever despite hearing the clip repeatedly.

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