I am an Intellectual
For many years, intellectuals have been attacked and mocked. The idea of intellectuals being out of touch who sit in ivory towers and say stuff that is disconnected from reality has gained ground. Many, especially, on the right have led a movement against intellectuals, and now we are stuck with the reality a perfect anti-intellectual candidate — Donald J. Trump.
But, what is an intellectual?
An intellectual is a person who engages in critical study, thought, and reflection about the reality of society.
In short, intellectuals are people who think.
People like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio who are educated elite from top universities, and a real ability to think have used their abilities for demagoguery — and unfortunately for them, and for us — their audience bought it into the act hook, line and sinker. Now, they are left defending themselves and their wives against ridicule, primary challenges and threats of Trump sponsored Super PACs.
Global Jihad against Intellect
This is not only an American problem. In countries across the world, there has been a rise in authoritarian leaders who are shutting down journalists, universities and any debate by attacking anti-national intellectual elites. In Turkey, they call them ‘coup supporters’; in Pakistan, they call people like Husain Haqqani traitors; in India, they call journalists like Burkha Dutt presstitute and worse — all dissent is seen as the liberal elite trying to destroy the national identity or worse.
In this respect, the so called nationalists of India, Pakistan, Turkey and USA — are no different than the thinking of Islamic Jihadists — if you ask the people to think for themselves using their intellect, and don’t fit with our defnition of nationalist, you are a traitor.
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, an intellectual, lawyer Khizr Khan showed us what is real nationalism. And Mike Bloomberg rose above partisanship as an intellectual for our nation’s future.
I am an intellectual. I am proud of my ability to think for myself. I love my Indian heritage, my American identity, my Hindu upbringing — and yet I can see 100 things wrong with India, America, Hinduism — this is what makes me live upto the traditions of Gandhi, Madison and Vivekananda.