What’s the deal with so-called ‘intellectuals’ or ‘antels’ (as they’re termed lovingly in Bengali)? I mean, some of them are real, some are pseudo, some are wannabe, and the rest are non. I’ve been wondering about this genus of ‘educated’ people since I’ve started knowing them, and trust me, still haven’t been able to fathom all of them. There are different species within this genus as I mentioned above – reals, pseudos, wannabes, ‘non’s. Well, the ‘non’s are also intellectuals in their own street-smart way, with their carefully-crafted show of belonging in the category. There has been a recent surge of antel-ism, or should I say social-activism in all the social-networking sites (as observed by myself). The trend is pronounced mostly in Facebook due to its informal and easy way of presenting each post, and most importantly their visibility. And so, each day my wall is laced with such grave and supposedly important posts – mostly from the pseudos. All of them are not about any/clichéd-topic-under-the-sun, they HAVE to be about some incident in an obscure part of the world, sometimes India.
The posts trouble me, with their garnished keywords such as petition, pledge, peace, vigil, democracy, law, even Sierra Leone, and on special occasions – Ayodhya, yes. The antels thrill me with their political awareness and ideologies and philosophy and sociology and economics, and of course the subject in which they’re pursuing their doctorate degrees. I’ve been a graduate student too, and I’m amazed with all the time they can squeeze out of a freaking 24-hours day. I could hardly find any time to work on a webzine after labs and assignments, let alone reading innumerable websites and e-papers for worldwide news.