Photo by mysterykatt123
Photo by mysterykatt123

Politicians, once they come to power, blame ‘intellectuals’ and ‘liberals’ for slowing down their bid for absolute control and power over all of us citizens.

Politicians use the words ‘Intellectual’ and ‘liberal’ to malign, belittle and disparage social thinkers and independent minded social commentators who differ and disagree with them.

Social commentators and all those who do not agree with the view of the political party that is in the ascendant at the time, are derisively called “liberals and ‘intellectuals” by politicians and their supporters and also by certain media journalists. And those who are swayed by the rhetoric of politicians and put politicians on a pedestal join these politicians in rubbishing these social thinkers who voice their views for the greater common good.

The words ‘intellectual’ and ‘liberal’ have become four letter words used by politicians to vilify and denigrate those who do not agree with their views and who publicly deny these politicians from carrying out their acts of foolishness.

I’ve even heard an Indian yogi, mystic, poet and New York Times bestselling author who had had the Prime Minister of India inaugurate a giant multi–million dollar installation, shortly after, denigrate ‘intellectuals’ and ‘liberals’ in anticipation of being criticised for his suggestion to rename the country, which he hopes, publicly, that the present Prime minister will hear and carry out.

Apparently these acolytes of politicians prefer being to be thought of as stupid and narrow minded.

I have a different preference:

I’d rather be liberal’ than ‘narrow minded’.

I’d rather be open-minded, free-thinking and open to new ideas

Than be petty, small-minded and blinkered, and deny new ideas


I’d rather be a liberal, and respect and learn and appreciate

from opinions and behaviour that’s different from mine

Than shut my mind by disrespecting other’s opinions

and prohibiting and condemning dissimilar behaviour


I’d rather be a liberal and expose myself to a wide spectrum

of knowledge and think freely and imaginatively

Than confine my point of view and my personal independence

to an imposed political or social ideology


I’d rather be liberal, open-handed, generous, open-minded,

progressive, contemporary, tolerant, objective, unbiased,

impartial and free from prejudice

Than be what politicians want us to be – intolerant, mean spirited

miserly, narrow minded, ungenerous, bigoted, blinkered,

mean-minded, limited, parochial and dogmatic


I also prefer to be called an intellectual rather than stupid.

I prefer to be considered an educated person with a developed


Rather than – an idiot who cannot be educated


I prefer to exercise my imagination; form new ideas and be

engaged in activities where I can use my intellect creatively

and create change

Rather than – be a slow, thick headed dolt who cannot change

and who engages in destruction and denigration of property

and culture


I prefer to be recognised as a person who can think and

understand; who studies, reflects and thinks in a logical way

Rather than – an uncultured, weak minded, incoherent, ignoramus


I’d rather be guided by my mental power, my independent view,

Critical thinking and rationality

Rather than – by brutish emotion and irrational Impulse

Pratap Antony is a Passive activist. Active pacifist thinker and writer, writes on an array of subjects: ecology and environment, social justice and pluralism, management ideas and issues. Music: western classical, jazz, and Indian classical dance.



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One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Politicians ‘ use intellectuals like economists and writers to cement their political power and after safe assumption of power, deride them. In the eyes o politicians, intellectuals may be great people till they ascend thrones and become villains if they are criticised aftrr elections. Hence, irespective of thee demagogues, one shuld be human and courageous to question politicians if they work against peoples wishes