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Intellectuals owe much to the society

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07th-Aug-2018       
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Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
Intellectuals are enlightened persons-those who possess intelligent understanding of the ideas and thoughts as well as the problems of the society. They from a minority in the society, and they are the Ôleaders' of thought. They can lead the majority to the understanding of various issues-political, social and religious and influences their minds. They may be called elites of the society-the articulate class who also express their ideas and understanding through speeches and writings. It is said that they 'create culture' as a matter of fact, intellectuals interpret culture while artists, authors, philosophers, scientists create culture, and transmit culture to the people.
Intellectuals are not efficient as rebels and activists. However, they are good talkers, good writers and cleaver publicists.
They are articulate persons and so they dominate the minds of those who are of average intellect. The common people know very little, but they possess a certain commonsense and common decency, they have not the wit to think out policies themselves, but they can understand what the resourceful intellectuals say to them.
They are the cultured minority, but they remain the leaders of thought and ideas. They cannot assume the responsibility of running governments or social organizations. They have the strength of ideas and not the strength of initiative and action. They cannot wield power and authority, though they provide ideas about how to get and wield power.
Intellectuals are social and spirituals leaders. They show how man can gain happiness; how they can best conduct their life. Bernard Shaw in the modern age is a great intellectual irritant.
He has demolished many of our cherished ideals and conventional morality. He has shaken us out of our complacency and has made us think of many values and institutions in a new way. Bertrand Russell has suggested to men the road to happiness which is a very simple thing and which is independent of any philosophical or religious practices.
The writers like D.H. Lawrence, H. G. Wells and Aldous Huxley are intellectuals who have helped men to reassess things in the light of reason and rationally. Marx and Fieud are great intellectuals of the modern age who have reoriented our outlook on history and psychology and have stimulated our thinking about many issues of life. Marx has explained the laws of development of human society.
Marx shows that the people themselves forget their own well-being and freedom. Freud, on the other hand shows how human behaviors are molded by sexual urges. These views may not be acceptable by all, but they shock our minds to new awareness and fresh thinking.
Scientists, religious leaders, social thinkers, philosophers are all intellectuals, because they have intellectual perceptions of the problems of life and society.
They broaden the base of thought and knowledge and contribute to the enrichment of man's minds and hearts. They may be sometimes iconoclastic, sometimes radical, and sometimes devastating in their thought and ideas, but they enrich our awareness and add to the new accretions of thought and ideas.
In Bangladesh, the intellectuals have the limited scope to serve society under an organized banner. They are disorganized and lacking the state patronize. If state takes the responsibilities and bring them under a unique platform of umbrella, society may be benefited and enlightened. They are not integrated and become isolated from society.
They have their capabilities but they are detached from their fellows and even from the problem of general people. Many intellectuals even do not want to stay in Bangladesh.
They live abroad far from their motherland and do not bother for their natives. They do not like to share with the poor and the common people. Always they have the tendency to keep them aloof.
They do not involve them with local problems, well and woes, crisis or danger. They do not want to alienate with the local culture and have the tendency to avoid good efforts by which society may upgrade and change its old concept. They apprehend and assume if they become concerned to any issue, it may cause detriment to one's name and fame, power, image and status.
They assume that with their involvement in nation's activities their reputation may be lost. So with this mindset of our intellectuals, society cannot be built with the better foundation.
As a whole, the society suffers for lacking of good counseling guidance and teaching. Again, some intellectuals are made cornered by jealousy, ideological differences in opinion and above all for ego problems, so called elite mindset and clash of interest.
However, our society may be enriched if our intellectuals contribute their talents, wisdom and knowledge. If knowledge is disseminated to reduce discrimination, it may help building a socialistic society and ultimately society will change.
Society will be progressive, competitive, healthy and hygienic. Social values will be established. It will be more ethical and legal.  Then all things will be run by rule of laws. People will be law abiding, obliging and submissive. No anti-state or subversive activities will take place.
There will prevail peace and tranquility everywhere. People will live in harmony, unity, purity, loyalty and with highest sense of integrity.
In this regard, the intellectuals can play a very significant role upon government machineries. In our country, our intellectuals, the elites, the capitalist all have the bypassing tendency. Some of the intellectuals and elites do not want the economic emancipation of the common people.
Rather they always want to see and treat general people as their subjects. They consider themselves as a member of elite or royal society or a separate class from ordinary people. In our country, those intellectuals make a strong liaison with government, so that their interests are maintained.
These sorts of thing must be properly taken care of. Many a time, they try to influence government and dictate government, as if government is run by them. In democracy, government is meant for the people by the people and with the people. In no way government should be meant for the elites, royal families, musclemen, so-called aristocrat and intellectuals.
At the same time, government must always look to the interest of common people. Finally, we can conclude that intellectuals with their morality should co-operate with the government machineries for the future prosperity of digital Bangladesh.

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