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Dr K K Aggarwal

Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restraint, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. Many Vedic scholars have given their own formulae to control the mind. Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts.

The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise.

The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures. To control inner noise-based thoughts, we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts.

Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti–neti by Yagnayakya.

The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each other’s voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist.

One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts, one should meditate open the contrary thoughts. For example, if one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says you should never visit friends or relations empty handed. You should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one.

Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Writing for 3 min is one such exercise which anybody can do. Just before sleeping, take 3 min and write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish oneself at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself.

Fluctuating blood pressure more harmful

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In the elderly persons with high blood pressure, further fluctuations and spikes in blood pressure readings can affect their ability to think clearly and other cognitive function.

As per a North Carolina State University study, in people whose systolic blood pressure is 130 mm Hg or higher, the cognitive functions get impaired on days when their blood pressure spikes and fluctuates. On the other hand, in people with normal blood pressure, the cognitive functions do not get impaired if their blood pressure spikes or fluctuates.

Several studies in the past have found a link between high blood pressure and dementia, which is marked by a loss of memory and other cognitive abilities, including the ability to speak, identify objects or think abstractly. In another study it was found that treating high blood pressure in the very elderly may help reduce their risk of developing dementia.

The carry home message is that if you have blood pressure that wildly fluctuates and you also have underlying high blood pressure, you might be in double trouble for poorer cognitive functioning.

You Cannot Hate Strangers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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You can only hate somebody whom you have loved. Hatred, therefore, is withdrawal of love.

Love is the opposite of fear and not hate. Most of us assume that love and hatred are opposite to each other but hatred is withdrawal of love and manifestation of fear; it’s not opposite.

In spirituality, you cannot have love and fear together. Love means being in touch with your consciousness. Love is total absence of fear.

As per mythology, there are only two emotions and they are emotions of love and emotions of fear. All other emotions are their sub-categories. For example, love can be categorized into joy, peacefulness, happiness, forgiveness. Fear, on the other hand, can give rise to hatred, depression, guilt, inadequacy, discontentment, prejudice, anger etc.

In Ayurveda, fear is linked with Vata disorder, Pitta with anger and Kapha with attachment and possessiveness.

Again, as per As per Ayurveda, fear is linked with large intestine, pitta with small intestine and kapha with stomach and upper GI systems.

Fear in Vedic sciences is linked with Mooldhara Chakra, the first chakra with the sound LUM and love is linked to the Heart, the fourth Heart Anhata Chakra with its sound Yum. In terms of Vedic sciences, in Chakra meditation, Mooldhara chakra has the opposite characteristics of Anhata or Heart Chakra. Therefore, the sounds LUM and YUM are often chanted together.

Fear or love have different chemistry. Fear is based on adrenaline and love is based on endorphins. Fear is related to adrenaline based fight and flight.

The most important fear in body is fear of death. If that fear goes, one attains spirituality.

In the Sikh prayer “Ik Onkaar Sat Naam Kartaa Purakh Nirbh-a-o Nirvair Akaal Moorat Ajoonee Saibhn Gur Parsaad Jap…………”

‘Nirbhay’ means free of fear. Once one is in touch with consciousness the fear goes away.

When there is fear, there is no love and when there is no love, there is fear. Fear and love cannot be experienced at the same time.

If you have high BP keep your sugar lower than 90mg%

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Hypertension is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. If not properly managed they are likely to end up with diabetes with subsequent high risk of kidney damage.

The results of the anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial-Blood Pressure Lowering Arm (ASCOT-BPLA) study have shown that the major predictor of new-onset diabetes (NOD) in patients with hypertension is high baseline fasting plasma glucose levels of more than 90mg%. The risk increases by 5.8 times for each 18mg% rise above 90 mg%.

Other risk factors are higher weight, higher blood pressure and higher triglyceride levels. Patients of high BP taking the drugs atenolol (beta blocker drug) regimen with or without a diuretic are also at risk.

On the other hand, high BP patients on amlodipine (calcium blocker) ± perindopril (ACE inhibitor), with high good HDL cholesterol levels, moderate alcohol use and age older than 55 years have protection from developing diabetes.

Prakriti, Vikriti and Sanskriti

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Prakiti is defined as when a person lives for himself or when his actions are centered towards oneself.

Sanskriti is when one lives for the sake of others and vikriti is nothing but distortion in one’s living.

Greed is one type of vikriti which can make a ‘nar’ a ‘narbhakshi’ and later ‘nar rakshas. On the other hand, if a person works towards sanskriti it can convert him or her ‘nar’ to ‘narottam’ and from ‘narottam’ to ‘Narain’.

The aim in life, therefore, should be to work not for oneself but for the welfare of the others. These people gradually start working for themselves often for the family, society, nation and universe respectively.

Lord Buddha also said that any action done should follow the rule that it is directed for the welfare of all. Gandhi also propagated Sarvodaya or dedicating one’s actions to the welfare of all.

The basic fundamental teaching of the Vedic science is also based on Sarvodaya. Sahdev in Mahabharat and Bharat in Ramayan also talked about the sarvodaya properties, which every human being has.

Dr. Deepak Chopra in his book ‘7 Spiritual Laws of Success’ also writes that one should always ask his or her consciousness when meeting a person as to how one can help the other person.

Even a feeling of helping someone can make a difference.

Eating Out Tips

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  •  Curb portions: Always order for one if you are two people and if you are alone set aside some of what is on your plate to bring home.
  • Resist refined carbohydrates.
  • Load your plate with colorful choices at the salad bar with vegetables, fruits and small amounts of lean protein. Skip the creamy and ranch dressings.
  • Choose dishes that are grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed.
  • Don’t be afraid to request a salad, vegetables, or fruit instead of starchy side dishes.
  • If you are a non–vegetarian, order only fish or seafood.
  • If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s).

Understanding exact speech

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Upanishads, Yogasutras of Patanjali and teachings of Gautam Buddha, all talk about “the right speech”. As per Gautam Buddha, the right speech has three components:

  • It should be based on truthfulness.
  • It should be necessary.
  • It should be kind.

All three have to be in the same sequence with truthfulness taking the top ranking. For example, when a patient asks a doctor, “Am I going to die in the next few weeks or will I survive longer?” The truth may be that he is serious enough and may not survive but it is not necessary to speak the truth and also it is not kind. Therefore, that truth should not be spoken. 

Lord Krishna in Mahabharata explained when not to speak the truth and when to speak a lie. The truth which is going to harm the society may not be spoken and a lie which can save the life of a person without harming others may be spoken.

  • A truth which is necessary and kind may be spoken.
  • A truth which is not necessary but kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is necessary but not kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is neither necessary and nor kind may not be spoken.

Pollution and diabetes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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India may soon become the Diabetes capital of the world. The number of diabetics diagnosed every year is increasing.
If we go back to the era of Ramayana and Mahabharata, we find that none of the Devtas or Asurs suffered from diabetes. Though diabetes does get a mention in Ayurveda, its incidence and prevalence in Indian society was very low.

Today diabetes is considered to be a lifestyle disease and is linked to potbelly obesity. Lord Ganesha and Kuber both had potbelly obesity yet did not suffer from diabetes. Lord Ganesha had an uncontrolled appetite to eat sweets and yet he had no diabetes and same comes from one of his prayers, which talks about why people in that era did not suffer from diabetes. Following is a gist of one of my write–ups on the same: “Gajananam Bhoota Ganadi Sevitam; Kapittha Jambu phalasara bhakshitam; Umasutam Shoka Vinasha karanam; Namami Vighneswara pada pankajam”. The Mantra means

  • “Oh Elephant–faced, worshiped by the existing beings, of all living beings, tasting the elephant apple (kaith) and jambolana (jamun), the Son of Uma, destroyer of grief, I bow to the lotus feet of Ganesha who is lord of all” or
  • Gajananam (the big tummy one worshipped by all) Bhoota (Durva grass and Bilva patra used for worshipping Ganesha) Ganadi (in equal quantity) Sevitam (if consumed); Kapittha (Kaith) Jambu (Jamun) phalasara (fruits) bhakshitam (to be consumed); Umasutam (son of Uma) Shoka (diseases) Vinasha karanam (get rid of); Namami (I bow to) Vighneswara (destroyer of grief) pada pankajam (feet of lord)”

The mantra talks about four medicinal herbs: Durva grass and Bilva patra (Bel leaves) used for Ganesha worship; fruit of elephant apple (Kaith) and fruit of Jambolona (Jamun). All four have antidiabetic properties and can be mixed in equal quantities and prepared as a medicinal juice.

Medically, Durva grass (Cynodon dactylon) has been shown to possess antidiabetic, cholesterol–lowering, immunomodulatory, DNA protective, aphrodisiac, male fertility, anti cancer and anti inflammatory activities. Similarly, Bilva Patra has both antidiabetic and fertility-promoting properties.

Elephant apple (Limonia acidissima), also named as Wood Apple, Elephant Apple, Monkey Fruit, Curd Fruit, Koth Bel, Kaitha and Kath Bel, has been shown to possess strong anti diabetic properties.

Jamun (Syzygium cumini) also has DNA protective, antioxidant and antidiabetic properties and is an essential ingredient of most antidiabetic Ayurveda preparations.

Apart from the above, two things have also happened in the current Kalyug era, which deviate from the Vedic era. Firstly, environmental pollution and secondly people have chosen to eat carbohydrates on a daily basis and there is also a shift of complex carbohydrates to refined carbohydrates.

Environmental pollution, especially with high particulate matter PM 2.5 exposure, is linked with diabetes. Any particulate matter that is less than 2.5 µg/m3 in size can be absorbed from respiratory system, enter into the blood and release pro–inflammatory products leading to endothelial dysfunction and resultant diabetes and heart disease.

As per WHO, the air content of PM2.5 should be less than 10 µg/m3. In India, the levels are always more than 60 µg/m3as 60 µg/m3 concentration has been accepted as normal in India. This means that an Indian is already six times more exposed to PM 2.5 particulate.

In India, we can see values as high as 300–400 µg/m3 in selected areas on a daily basis. Constant exposure to PM 2.5 particulate matter leads to endothelial dysfunction, one of the major factors that increase the prevalence of diabetes.

As per Chandok Upanishad, food is Brahman. Food contains the same consciousness as that of human body. Fruits remain alive for up to 40 minutes after they are plucked from the tree unless they are refrigerated or frozen at the same time.

A fruit without consciousness is dead food and does not have protective nutritional value. PM2.5 particulates can also gets absorbed in the fruits, reducing its nutritional value.

If the same food is also devoid of consciousness, it will not be able to prevent and protect human being from various diseases.

To prevent oneself from diabetes, therefore, one should avoid eating refined carbohydrates, omit carbohydrates 80 days in a year from diet and avoid exposure to high PM2.5 pollution matter, exercise more and try to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables, which are locally grown and seasonal.

Get what you give

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?” And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!” The voice answers: “I admire you!”

Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life. Life will give you back everything you have given to it. (Shared by Man Mohan Mundra)

Can diabetes be prevented?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Adhering to a Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and low in animal products may protect from developing type 2 diabetes. The diet emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish, and deemphasizes meat and dairy products. It is a healthy eating plan that seems to help in the prevention of heart disease.

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers tracked the diets of 13,380 Spanish university graduates with no history of diabetes. Participants filled out a 136–item food questionnaire, which measured their entire diet (including their intake of fats), their cooking methods and their use of dietary supplements. During an average of 4.4 years of follow–up, the team found that people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, those who stuck very closely to the diet reduced their risk by 83 percent.

Moreover, the people who tended to stick closest to the diet were those with factors that put them at the highest risk for developing diabetes, such as being older, having a family history of diabetes and being an ex–smoker. These people were expected to have a higher rate of diabetes, but when they adhered to the Mediterranean diet this was not the case.

Type 2 diabetes is typically brought on by poor eating habits, too much weight and too little exercise.

One key factor that might be responsible for the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on olive oil for cooking, frying, putting on bread and mixing in salad dressings.

Tips to prevent diabetes

  • Eat less
  • Omit refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice and white maida)
  • Use olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish, and reduce meat and dairy products.

Why can the body be revived even after hours of death in hypothermia?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  •  It is a well–known phenomenon that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is not successful if the body temperature is less than 35°C.
  • In hypothermic deaths, a person can be revived even after hours of cardiac arrest. Only when the body temperature is brought back to normal, will CPR be effective. This would mean that consciousness gets frozen and does not leave the body when the temperature is below 35°C. This forms the basis for induced hypothermia after death to revive the brain.
  • Modern science is silent about this mechanism but ancient Indian literature talks about it in great detail. As per Chandogya Upanishad (6.15.1), the process of death takes time and is a sequential process.
  • First, the motor indriyas organs (Karma Indriyas) stop functioning then the sensory indriya organs (Gnanaindriyas) followed by cessation of prana or respiration.
  • Once this happens, the frozen sensory organs, motor organs, manas (mind, body, memory and ego) and prana have to get dissolved in Tej and then leave the body, which means presence of Tej is the most important factor for consciousness to leave the body.
  • In modern science, Tej would be governed by the body temperature. That means if the body temperature is low, the motor and sensory indriyas and manas product (Vritti) will find no heat or Tej to dissolve and come out of the body.
  • Therefore, till the body temperature (Tej) is brought back to normal, the indriyas will cease to function but still be revivable.
  • This process may take up to 48 minutes in presence of Tej and there is no time limit if Tej is absent.
  • A clinically dead person with cardiac arrest therefore will have absent functioning of Manas organs, Sensory organs, mind, intellect, memory and ego with no respiration but yet revivable back to life.

Top 5 Pain Interventions to Avoid

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In response to a call from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation for recommendations on the most overused interventions, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has issued a list of top 5 tests and therapies that are of questionable usefulness in the field of pain medicine. 

The list includes the following recommendations for doctors:

  • Don’t prescribe opioid analgesics as first–line therapy to treat chronic non–cancer pain. Consider multimodal therapy, including nondrug treatments, such as behavioral and physical therapies, before pharmacologic intervention. If drug therapy appears indicated, try nonopioid medication, such as nonsteroidal anti–inflammatory drugs, or anticonvulsants, before starting opioids.
  • Don’t prescribe opioid analgesics as long–term therapy to treat chronic non–cancer pain until the risks are considered and discussed with the patient. Inform patients of the risks of such treatments, including the potential for addiction. Review and sign a written agreement identifying both your and the patient’s responsibilities (e.g., urine drug testing) and the consequences of noncompliance with the agreement. Be cautious in coprescribing opioids and benzodiazepines. Proactively evaluate and treat, if indicated, the nearly universal adverse effects of constipation and low or estrogen.
  • Avoid imaging tests, such as MRI, CT, or radiography, for acute low back pain without specific indications. Avoid these interventions for low back pain in the first 6 weeks after pain begins if there are no specific clinical indications (e.g., history of cancer with potential metastases, known aortic aneurysm, progressive neurologic deficit). Most low back pain doesn’t require imaging, and performing such tests may reveal incidental findings that divert attention and increase the risk of having unhelpful surgery.
  • Don’t use intravenous sedation, such as propofol, midazolam, or ultra–short–acting opioid infusions for diagnostic and therapeutic nerve blocks, or joint injections, as a default practice. (This recommendation does not apply to pediatric patients.) Ideally, diagnostic procedures should be performed with local anesthetic alone. Intravenous sedation can be used after evaluation and discussion of risks, including interference with assessing the acute pain–relieving effects of the procedure and the potential for false–positive responses. Follow ASA Standards for Basic Anesthetic Monitoring in cases where moderate or deep sedation is provided or anticipated.
  • Avoid irreversible interventions for non–cancer pain, such as peripheral chemical neurolytic blocks or peripheral radiofrequency ablation. Such interventions may be costly and carry significant long–term risks of weakness, numbness, or increased pain.

Importance of silence

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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True silence is the silence between thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. Meditation is the process of achieving this silence. 

Observing silence is another way of getting benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi used to spend one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speech brought him inner peace and happiness. On these days, he communicated with others only by writing on paper. 

Hindu principles also talks about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanti (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and keep complete silence throughout day and night. It gives immense peace to the mind and strength to the body. In Jainism this ritual has a lot of importance. Nimith was a great Jain saint, who long ago, asked all Jains to observe this vrata. Some people recommend that on every ekadashi one should observe silence for few hours in a day if not the whole day. 

Deepak Chopra in his book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day to day life. He recommends that everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes every day. Silence helps to redirect our imagination towards self from the outer atmosphere. Even Swami Sivananda in his teachings has recommended daily observation of mauna for 2 hours for ekadashi, milk and fruits every day, studying one chapter of Bhagwad Gita daily, regular charity and donating one–tenth of the income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. Ekadashi is the day of celebration occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness. 

Vinoba Bhave was a great sage of our country who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata. 

Mauna means silence and vrata means vow; hence, mauna vrata means vow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enmity. Prolonged silence as a form of silence is observed by rishi munis. 

Silence is a source of all that exists. Silence is where conscious dwells. There is no religious tradition that does not talk about silence. It breaks outward communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication. This is one reason why all prayers, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mind to the spiritual consciousness within are done in silence. After the death of a person it is a practice to observe silence for two minutes. The immediate benefit is that it saves a tremendous amount of energy. 

Silence is cessation of both sensory and mental activity. It is like having a still mind and listening to the inner mind. Behind this screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of spirit. Meditation is the combination of observing silence and the art of observation.

Normal Aging Changes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Heart rate shows less variability.
  • There is altered circadian pattern (24–hour cycle of the body).
  • There is a delayed response of bone marrow to loss of blood or hypoxia (reduced oxygen).
  • The function of the white blood cells is impaired.
  • Advancing age is a procoagulant stage. This means that the blood gets clotted easily.
  • Reflux of the stomach acid in the food pipe is common.
  • Tendency to constipation is common.
  • Painkillers can quite easily cause ulcers in the stomach.
  • Renal functions decline with age.
  • Older kidney is more prone to be damaged with painkillers.
  • Calcification of heart valves may occur.
  • The maximum heart rate may not reach the level as that in the young age in response to exercise.
  • About one–third of the lung volume may be lost.
  • Aging slows the rate of fracture repair.
  • Skin may become atrophic (thin) and elasticity is reduced.
  • A person may not be able to read small print.
  • There may be impaired speech recognition in noisy environment.
  • There may be loss of taste.
  • There may be loss of smell.
  • There may be high-frequency hearing loss.
  • Immunity may be reduced.
  • With age, one is more prone to get urinary tract infection.
  • With age, ejaculation may get impaired.

Always Respect Other’s Viewpoint

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is an old saying that one is proud of his or her own intelligence and somebody else’s partner and wealth. Most disputes occur when there is an ego clash and this occurs when you want your point of view to be noticed by everybody. But remember that for every situation, invariably, there will be multiple opinions.


In one of my meetings, I asked my lifestyle students–cum–colleagues to imagine Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister of the country. Following were the views of various people:

  • He is too young.
  • He is immature.
  • He is childish.
  • It will be failure of democracy
  • He has no political will
  • He has no strength for taking decisions
  • He has no experience.
  • He is open–minded.
  • He will bring youth to politics.
  • He has an experienced team behind him.
  • He will bring a new approach to politics etc. etc.

The message is very clear that everybody has their own perception and we should learn to respect that.