THE PUN IN BEING AN INTELLECTUAL

By Promod Puri

Sometime back my nieces and nephews along with a few of their aunties and uncles formed a family group on the social media and named it “The Intellectuals.” The idea was to stay in touch with each other wherever we’re globally settled.

Since its formation, the group, despite being calling itself as intellectuals, hardly has any intellectuality in its social conversation or gossip communications. The Intellectual bunch uses the WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. to convey greetings on special occasions, and share family news. And in lighter moods, many of the posts are simple jokes, sensible as well as pointless and ludicrous.

In its informal mandate, the question is, why the group call itself “The Intellectuals.”

Since the family social club originated in India, it seems the title has appealed to its membership as being intellectual in the country these days has an irony of pun in it. In fact, the ‘intellectuals’ rather be non-intellectuals to avoid the snobbery generated in its labeling.

The word is slang both in political and social terms. It suggests intellectuals are ignorant of ground realities despite their academic and idealistic learning.

Willfully calling somebody as an intellectual is to mock the narcissist nature of an individual who is otherwise loaded with bookish knowledge.

Intellectualism has been sarcastically ridiculed and criticized for its failure to communicate at the level in which ordinary folks can comprehend. Their wisdom and idealism remain circulated within their own isms.

Mostly Leftists scholars and thinkers are the victims of intellectual sarcasm. For that reason, it is often a bitter taunt by the political Right against the political Left.

There is some truth in the egoistic psychology of the elite community of intellectuals. Subtly and satirically that the nature of intellectuals has been a wit for “The Intellectuals.”

( Promod Puri writes on human interest, social, political and religious topics. He is the author of “Hinduism beyond rituals, customs, and traditions.” Websites: promodpuri.com, progressivehindudialogue.com, and promodpuri.blogspot.com)

 

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