“If you are too open-minded…Your brains fall out”
The above line is perhaps a stark truth which we really need to comprehend. Intellectuals, or ‘societal intellectuals’ as I would like to define them, are perhaps the biggest liability today. First of all, you may ask, to which breed does this societal intellectual belong to? It is the breed which has views on practically everything; that which prides itself on their liberal mindset (too much at times!), that which is a regular at Page 3 parties and art or fashion do’s; and not to forget, one which doesn’t take ground realities into consideration while airing their views. It is high time we stopped listening to them.


One group that always crosses my mind regarding this issue is the one comprising of “liberals” like Ms Arundhati Roy. Indeed,a great novelist but a poor judge of things perhaps? Consider the initiatives she supports: Revoking the death order of Afzal Guru, the mastermind behind Parliament attacks; scrapping of death penalty just because ‘liberal’ European nations have done it, ‘unfairness’ of recent infamous Jamia encounter in Delhi, independence of Kashmir and what not. At the last count, she had also supported the revoking of the death penalty of Dhananjay, the prime accused in the rape and murder of a 14-yr old Kolkata girl. I cannot understand why she doesn’t face realities. If Kashmir is separated from India, it will turn into another war land because Pakistan will not accept this readily. The European nations that have scrapped death penalty are the very same where extreme rightist groups openly term homosexuals, immigrants, non-Christians and liberals as enemies of the state. Such parties are, worryingly, rising in power in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and god knows where else in Europe! And besides this, these countries have almost negligible crime rates. I don’t think I need to assert that terrorists deserve no mercy whatsoever.


And now behold – the financial analysts – the most influential intellectuals: the very group which predicted an above 25000 level for BSE at the end of this year. Well, actually, it is not that bad. After all, we are just about 16000 points adrift aren’t we? Moreover, had they been so intelligent, they would have predicted this turmoil long ago. Heavy duty banks like Lehmann, Meryl Lynch etc. kept on piling bad debts through financial instruments like Credit Default Swaps without even thinking what it could lead to.


Another group of liability…err…intellectuals, are the left groups, who are still chained to traditional communist psychology. The evidence of their intellectualism gets noticed through several of their activities which range from crippling strikes in Kolkata to opposing successfully forcing US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Richard Boucher to cancel a visit to JNU. Maybe JNU can take a leaf out of Columbia University in US where Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad was invited as an honored guest and was made to remind of his regime’s dark policies by University president Lee Bollinger in his introductory speech.


There are many more groups comprising of such intellectuals who need to be told the truth. It is highly unfortunate that we don’t listen to logical and sane voices but these people who give us false promises and bad policies. It is time that we, as a society, start giving importance to substance and not mere style or words. In short, let us get rid of pseudo intellectuals, please.


Mayank Sharma

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