Monday, December 28, 2015

Intellectuals and institutionalized ignorance

— Nasir Khan, December 28, 2015

Renowned American writer Saul Bellow (1915-2005) says: “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance.” This pithy saying speaks volumes if we analyse it at greater length. But I will offer only a few fleeting remarks here.

It may surprise some if I say that ignorance is not a simple matter. In fact, a complex phenomenon serves various social, political and religious interests. It is directly related to influence common people and their consciousness of the social reality that surrounds them. However, the task of the brainy purveyors of ignorance is not to inform but to raise the barriers that would not let any truth slip in to the masses! That means if the particular interests are to be protected and masses duped then ignorance has to be institutionalised, fortified and perpetuated by the powerful and the influential people who are at the helm of affairs.

Who can buttress the citadel of Ignorance better than the people who are dubbed as intelligentsia, intellectuals and the ‘educated’ ones that separates them from the ordinary people? There is no doubt, they do an excellent job when they have rich and resourceful people to patronise them and institutions to hire their services.They are closely attached to upholding the interests of the ruling elite and justify their actions and policies. I call them modern-day mental gladiators!

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