Greetings My Well Wishers
Thanks for your response to “Believe The Hype”. I hope you guys like this Refreshing New Blogsite of mine. I guess it will take time to grow & become a popular blogsite, and I’m sure the Day I become more Popular than Aamir Khan, that Day both my Blogsites will attract Larger number of Comments than Mr. Khan’s Blogsite.
(Although I regard Mr. Aamir Khan as a truly multi-talented person & one of the Few Talented Actors among Bollywood’s Showpiece Heros)
My Good Friend & Brother Shankar Ranganathan (To whom this Blog is Dedicated to) told me that I was writing too much on Cinema Appreciation & Cricket Bashing and I needed to write on Diverse topics.
And he is right, this is not just a Movie Lovers or Anti-Cricket Blog, so lets make it as Diverse as possible.
So today I present a Topic of a New Genre (ha ha Blogs are also getting typecast into Genres). This topic was in my mind for sometime & I wanted to write it earliest of all, but I guess as Shankar told me, I was too in love with Movies & Disliking Cricket. Thanks Shankar. You really are a Treasure of a Friend. I need guys like you to make me better than the best. And not 2 forget my other Great Friends (Rony, Adit, Rahul, Bhanu, Silvan & Aditya). Hell let me Dedicate this Blog to all of them.
So here goes, My Take on Intellectuals & Pseudo-Intellectuals.
Now all of us know who intellectuals are. Those who think positive & constructive, those who are optimists, those who are Capable of so many things but still are God Fearing (Well most intellectuals are not athiests) & finally, intellectuals are those who use Their Brains for the Benefits of the society, or should I say use their Brains for making things better. (Now I’m not advertising Philips here)
What about Pseudo-Intellectuals.
Some of you know what their lot are. For those who don’t, Pseudo-Intellectuals are people of average intelligence who are enchanted with highly intellectual topics and discussions such as philosophy, socioeconomics, destiny of humanity, etc. Unlike a genuine academic, a pseudo-intellectual’s main reason for being interested in these topics is because it makes him feel intellectually superior to his peers. He usually despises main stream culture, accuses those who disagree with him as being ignorant (You hear that Mr. Ishan, when you said that I live a “Life of ignorance” just because I didn’t agree with you that God doesn’t exist & I also found your Criticism of Mother Teresa absurd)
Wikipedia describes that a Pseudo-Intellectual is an intellectually dishonest person. The term is often, though not always, used to describe one who regularly critiques the work of professionals, while lacking the requisite background knowledge and experience to have an informed opinion. Synonyms for this character include sophist, and in medical terms, mountebank and quack.
So here I bring to you some Intellectuals & Pseudo-Intellectuals from different walks of life.
1. Intellectual – Dr. Manmohan Singh (Present Indian PM & Former Finance Minister)
Dr. Manmohan Singh is rightly acclaimed as a thinker and a scholar. He is well regarded for his diligence and his academic approach to work, as well as his accessibility and his unassuming demeanour. Hey may be a weak Prime Minister, a puppet in the hands of Sonia Gandhi & lacks a Good Personality. But, in what was to become the turning point in the economic history of independent India, Dr. Singh spent five years between 1991 and 1996 as India’s Finance Minister. His role in ushering in a comprehensive policy of economic reforms is now recognized worldwide. He saved a then Bankrupt India by introducing Multi-National Organizations here. (Thanks to him we have McDonalds, Dominoz, Coke, LG & Samsung here in India). In the popular view of his years in India as FM, that period is inextricably associated with the persona of Dr. Singh.
Pseudo-Intellectual – Prakash Karat [Communist Part of India (Marxist) Chief]
Well Mr. Prakash Karat has got brains, no questions. But all his Life he has used his brains to constantly criticize every other Political Party, but thats what The Left Does.
But I say with full force & consciousness, that Mr. Karat is a Hypocrite. If he is so much of a Communist and a die hard Anti-West, then why does he use English as his Language of Expression, he could go with his native Malyaalam, or Hindi or even the CPM preferred Bangla (which he knows as well), the way his Godfather, Jyoti Basu does.
And why are you wearing as Suit (in d above picture which is not morphed), you hate the West Right, then why Western Apparels.
Outlook Magazine has done Undercover operation on the CPM and Found Mr. Karat & his CPM friend Sitaram Yechury sipping Coke (A US Product) at a party, another photograph featured their spokesperson Mr. Bardhan wearing Nike Shoes (Another US Product) while jogging.
I wish I had a Scanner, I’d put those Pics up here, couldn’t find them on Google (For obvious reasons)
Mr. Karat, if you are so dependent on Western Culture & Products, why Bash them.
You guys always Protest, and you’r the most vocal of them whenever India goes on to sign a Deal with any Western Country, a deal that is for India’s benefit (Like the Recent Indo-US Nuclear Deal).
But on the other hand, you are Happy & Excited whenever India signs a Deal with China & a now Miserable Russia. (Mr. Karat was shouting from the rooftops with Joy when India signed a Friendship Deal with USSR, much to the dismay of America back in 1978 )
Its people of your ilk who have turned a Glorious & Industrialized pre 80’s Calcutta into the Bandh City of today’s Kolkatta.
2. Intellectual – Lalu Prasad Yadav (India’s Present Union Railways Minister, RJD Supremo & Former Bihar Chief Minister)
Love Laluji, hate Laluji or do both, but you simply just can’t ignore him no matter how hard you try.
Lalu Yadav is a Phenomenon. After Indira Gandhi, no Politician in India has enjoyed popularity equally among the elite and the Grassroots, from Srinagar to Thiruwananthapuram and from Ahemdabad to Guwhati the way Laluji has. And not just in India, Laluji has more fans in Pakistan then their President Musharraf. Even Western Media has hailed him as India’s most recognized Politician. This shows that Laluji has lots of Charisma.
And he has reasons for being so. Never has India, in its approx 60 years of Democracy seen before a politician with such a Brilliant sense of Humour. Unlike the Right & the Left MPs whose Primary Objective in the Parliament is to fight & take potshots at each other, Laluji does a Brillaint Job by providing the house Comic Relief. (And Folks it needs Brains to make Frustrated People laugh & keep on doing it).
In a Cast Divided North India, Laluji is the only Leader, not just in his home state of Bihar, but in other states as well, who has supporters from The Brahmins, Thakurs, Dalits. From the Rich, the middle Class & the poor and among Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs & Christians. No other big North Indian Politician of today (Not even Rahul Gandhi) can ever command that much universal following.
Ok, he has been labeled with charges of corruption, he is been infamous because of his involvement in the 1997 Fodder Scam, but then tell me how many Politicians of today in any country are SAINTS.
And I won’t get into detail about his contribution to make the Indian Railways more Reliable & Efficient hence making it India’s most Profitable Organization for the last 4 years. All the Scholars at IIM, and even at Harvard Univ. for his contribution to the Indian Railways have hailed him as “The Management Guru” despite him not being an MBA.
Pseudo-Intellectual – Bal Thackeray (Shiv Sena Supremo)
Not to offend Shiv Sainiks any further, I’ll address Mr. Thackeray as Balasaheb (The way most of Mumbai does)
Balasaheb is the Best Success story to come out of Regionalism & Communality Politics. He was just a Cartoonist. But he rose to power playing the Regional game. He cashed in on the Marathi Manoos issue & protested against TATA’s for hiring too many Parsis (TATA’s are also Parsis) and not giving opportunities to Marathis. He used his Marathi Gimmick to command power among the Marathi masses & become big. And he succeeded at that.
Over the years, his Faction was first against The Gujratis being too prosperous in Mumbai. Then they targetted South Indians, telling them they don’t belong in Bombay.
In the 90’s they went against the Muslims & their Faction was instrumental in creating the 93 Mumbai Hindu-Muslim riots that triggered off after the serial blasts.
Now Balasaheb & his nephew Raj, are targeting & even tormenting the North Indian Immigrants for making Mumbai dirty.
In between, Balasaheb & his company have been Against Valentine’s Day & all other things that are “Against Indian Culture“. And also they have made Bombay (which its still called Bombay by the majority) to be officially re-christened as Mumbai. If People in Delhi are ok with it being called Delhi & not Shajahanabad or Indraprastha, then whats the problem if Bombay continues to be called Bombay as it was being called for 4 centuries.
Balasaheb, I know you have brains, only if you Utilized them in your life for Constructive purposes.
3. Intellectual – Sir Salman Rushdie (Celebrated Author of Fiction & Non-Fiction, Columnist & also acted in few flicks)
I’m not calling him Sir just like that. After all, he recently received a well deserved Knighthood from the Queen of England, Elizabeth II.
Salman Rushdie’s great grasp of the human tragicomedy –its dimensions, its absurdities and horrors coupled with his style of Magical Realism–has made him one of the most intelligent fiction writers in the English language. His writing is Simple, but of course very pleasurable.
Salman Rushdie, whose also my Guru, is undoubtedly among the Top 5 Greatest Authors in the history of English Literature (after William Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Connon Doyle, PG Woodhouse & Charles Dickens) No matter how many failed marraiges or “FATWAS” he has had, his Greatness & Intellect can’t be questioned.
You can’t simply call Sir Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children a Very Good Fiction Book. Its beacuse Midnight’s Children is the Greatest Fiction book to have been ever written. Read it at least twice, to believe it.The Characters are your everyday average Joes. His writing is so beautiful, it makes you cry. And as you read the book, the story not only comes alive, you become a part of the story. No wonder he won the Booker Prize in 1981 for that book & later won the Booker of Bookers Prize (best Booker Prize winning Novel in 25 years) in 1993 and recently won the Prize for writing the Greatest Booker Prize winning Novel.
For he despite being a Born Muslim, had the guts to question the shortcomings of his religion for which he had to face Unbelievable Wrath from Fundamentalists & Fanatics (the Dire Consequences caused because of his controversial book Satanic Verses).
That sure had dismayed & disappointed him and also had emotionally effected him in a big way as he had to remain underground for years, but all that trauma didn’t damage his literary abilities and writing skills. He continued to write Gems after Gems, and though all those Gems were not as wonderful, as Midnight’s Children, they still have been Masterpieces in their own right. Thats the reason why his new Novel, The Enchantress of Florence is also a Bestseller Internationally. Clearly, the world doesn’t seem to have enough of Sir Rushdie. Hope he soon wins a Nobel Prize.
Pseudo-Intellectual – Sir V.S. Naipaul (Multiple Awards Winning Author)
The above is a Vintage picture of Sir VS Naipaul, he is much older than Sir Rushdie. He may have won a Nobel Prize & awarded Knighthood by the British Queen, but I regard him as one of the most Unstable & Confused Minded People on the planet (After George Bush, although Sir Naipaul’s IQ is much higher than that of Bush)
In the history of English Literature, there has been no other Author who has risen to fame due to his constant criticism & lampooning of weaker Nations, Races & communities.
Sir Naipaul represented the Group of Permanent Pessimists, who only saw Darkness & Flaws everywhere.
He was the 1st Author of Indian origin to win the Booker Prize in 1971 for his book, “In a Free State”. Yet he never spoke of his Indian roots when he won the Booker prize, or when he was awarded Knighthood in 1990 & later The Nobel Prize in 2001. For him, England has always been his only home (Though he was not born there).
Sir Naipaul has been known for his Passionate Hatred for India. He wrote Bestseller books where he described his ancestor’s India as “An Area of Darkness” & “A Land of Million Mutinies“. He referred his connection to the Carribean island of Trinidad (his Birthplace) as Unfortunate. He always believed Africa is a Dark, Regressive & Miserable place on earth. He was is support of the UK in the Falkland wars, & called the tiny Falkland Islands a Doomed Place. And not just that, he has called Islam a Curse & a Menace, Hailed the Hindu Fundamentalists of India as a Creative Force & also LIKED BJP’s decision to demolish the Babri Masjid.
And how Confused Minded he has been. After showing his Middle Finger to India for 4 Decades, he now is impressed with India’s economic Growth & calls India Progressive. And although he is still critical of Islam, his Present wife, Nadira is a Pakistani Muslim. And his Biography has revealed how “Saintly” person he has been in his personal life, tormenting & humiliating his 1st Wife Patricia Hale, which led to her death.
Clearly he is a Pseudo-Intellectual. If you are an Indian and you knew all this about him and still admire him, then all I gotta say to you as, “Get a Life Looser”.
4. Intellectual – Mr. Amitabh Bachchan (Does he require any Introduction)
He may have his share of vices. In terms of acting, he is no Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Tom Hanks, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman or even Johnny Depp. But is there any actor in the history of Indian Cinema who has been as versatile, whose screen presence been as commanding & breathtaking, whose dialouge delivery been as immortalised and whose popularity has broken cast, ethinic, economic, religious & even international barriers, it has to be Amitabh Bachchan. Perhaps the only Indian actor to have remained an A Lister most of his lifetime (Most Actors are forgotten when they pass 50) & also the First Indian actor to charge Rs. 1 Crore per movie that too way back in the 80’s where no one even dreamed about Crores, and he got it (Well deserved)
Even if you disagree that he is India’s greatest actor, he certainly will remain India’s or for that matter South Asia’s Most Popular & adored actor. And thats the reason why he is the Only Movie Star in India whose foray into Television was not just success, but a stupendous success that cannot be repeated. The 1st Season of KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati) broke all Television Records, the 2nd Season also did very well compared to all Rival shows of KBC. Even people in Non-Hindi speaking states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Praedsh, Orissa, West Bengal, The North-Eastern States and even people in Pakistan & Nepal religiously watched most episodes of KBC’s 1st season.
And despite his overwhelmingly successful life, the Big B continues to remaine a Humble Man. He never called Himself “The Best” or ‘The King”. He always calls himself as an Average Actor & praises Motilial, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Sanjeev Kumar, Naseer-ud-Din Shah & Rajnikanth as India’s finest actors. Not only that, whenever he is asked that ‘Whats his Best & Worst Performance”, he intelligently Replies “Not Yet”. And not just that, when any rival actor of his takes potshots at him, Mr. Bachchan, doesn’t blow up in front of the Media, he rather calls them Friendly Jibes.
And yes his Blogs are the most Intriguing among all actors, and he has never Lampooned any actor with whom he has not or had not gotten along with.
Pseudo-Intellectual – Shatrughan Sinha (A Has-Been Movie Star)
His is the Perfect Example of Sour Grapes. An out of work, has-been movie star, who was only an Average actor, mostly doing Side Roles or Negative Roles and playing the Hero in B & C Grade Films in the 70’s, 80’s & early 90’s, inevitably got forgotten after he lost his Youth.
He tried to do TV, but failed with his Shotgun Show on Zee TV back in the mid-90s. Even his stint on The Great Indian Laughter Challenge is not gathering Good ratings. (Besides people watch Laughter Challenge only for the Stand Up Comedians & Sidhu’s laughter)
And he loves to take more & more potshots at his old rival Amitabh Bachchan, many times even personally questioning Big B’s competence.
Shatrughan laments over the fact that Critics considered him a better actor than Bachchan, still Bachchan became more popular. Shatrughan also claims, was offered all the roles initially by Yash Chopra, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai & Prakash Mehra that Bachchan later went on to Immortalise and he says that he couldn’t accept those roles because of date problems, personal reasons or subjects of those movies being rubbish. See how jealous is he of The Big B’s success.
He even goes on saying that he completely overshadowed The Big B in all the movies he did with him i.e. Dostana, Kaala Patthar, Shaan & Naseeb. Isn’s it all Gross.
And these days he keeps on comparing the Bachchan family with the Kapoor family and criticizing The Big B for his connections with the Samajwadi Party.
Mr. Sinha, tell me – Are you a Saint? Haven’t you been called an incompetent BJP MP.
And if you’r such a good actor, why were you not equally successful as Dharmender who was the only actor during the Big B’s time to be as adored as him.
You have no movies nowdays, and you try to stay in news by using this Big B Bashing Gimmick.
5. Intellectual – Bono (Activist & Lead Vocalist of the Iconic Irish Rock Band U2)
Hmm,what should I say about Bono who has been rocking the music scene since 1982, If grammys are sold, Bono is the one who has the talent to buy it,22 grammys,more than any other recording artist! Not just Really Great, He & his music Are ETHEREALLY GREAT!
He has rocked each and every place on this damn planet!He has proved that Sex, Drugs, Violence & Head Banging are not the essentials of Rock N roll,and if u vouch for peace and equality, U’r reign at superstardom will continue till eternity.
Kingdoms have risen, kingdoms have been decimated, some thrones have been usurped but Bono & his band U2’s place at the helm of Rock N Roll continues to be untouched!No eyes are worthy enough to look up to that honour today!Trying to be like him is like Staring At the Sun!26 years after his first album was released, he still dishes out Multi platinum albums and sells out arenas!Bono mania lives on and will never die!
Aprt from Composing, Writing & Singing Unforgettable Music(or I should say anthems), Bono is a Widely Respected Activist for the Deprived & the underprivileged. He has raised so many funds for Africa through his Forum DATA so that Africa gets rid of Poverty, Malnutrition & AIDS. Not just that, he has been campaigning against Global Warming & Drugs and has raised his Voice on Violence against women and also the Imprisonment of Former Burmese Premier Aung San Su-Kyi. And he is also known to be Fluent in many languages, besides occasionally writing much appreaciated columns in the world’s best Newspapers.
I guess one word sums up Bono perfectly- Divine. (Another future Nobel Laureate)
Pseudo-Intellectual – Simon Cowell (Music & TV Producer and Judge on famous Reality shows)
Simon Cowell probably doesn’t have any qualifications – other than a huge talent for making pots of cash. He was just a small time Music record producer, until he hit big time with the success of his Reality Show Pop Idol in Britain which eventually crossed the Atlantic & gave birth to the Hit AMERICAN IDOL.
Now this guy has no Musical ability. He can’t sing, write lyrics or play any musical instrument, he only has the money.
But he has Exploited his stint on American Idol to the fullest, humiliating Young Aspiring singers (Even those who are actually good) with unsparingly blunt, rude, nasty & notorious comments and insults.
He also proved that he is a big Racist for his Dislike for Non-white singers. Remember, he was always running down American Idol contestant of Indian origin, Sanjay Malekar. He always said that Sanjay is an awful singer & lacks the talent.
Agreed Sanjay was not such a good singer, but Mr. Cowell vowed to run him down even when Sanjay performed well & continued to do so until Sanjay was eliminated. Mr. Cowell then commented by saying that its a huge sigh of relief to find Sanjay Malekar gone.
And not just Racist, Simon Cowell proved the fact that why Most British people Dislike Americans. On his British Pop Idol, he praised queit many contestants, but on American Idol he always criticizes & finds flaws in 99% of the singers. He hardly says anything encouraging to any American singer.
When you are not a Musician or Singer yourself, it gives you no right to make young aspiring singers with dreams in their eyes break down into an ocean of tears courtesy your rude comments.
No wonder he is often parodied in pop culture & referred as a Loudmouth Bully & Jerk by many.
6. Intellectual – Rajeev Masand (Film Critic, Formerly on Star news, now on CNN-IBN)
Over the course of years, after reading movie reviews after movie reviews, to decide which movies to watch, I’m now convinced with the fact that that “No one analyses Hindi Movies better in India, then Rajiv Masand does.”
He has been Biased sometimes, for movies like Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Om Shanti Om, Yun Hota To Kya Hota & the recent Jodha Akbar (Probably beacuse he didn’t want to uspet his Director friends, but thatswhat most movie critics do).
But after watching his show “Now Showing” religiously for 3 years now, I’ve realised that except for the above mentioned movies, Rajeev gets his reviews RIGHT all the time, and thats what makes it a Treat to watch/read his reviews. This is what Rajeev says about his Film reviewing –
“You need to discuss a film, obsess about its pros and shortcomings, and provide the readers with your perspective on the film. This will differ between reviewers, but I feel it’s necessary to express a film’s quality as rated personally. A review is a reviewer’s opinion, and should ideally help a reader choose/avoid a film.”
Rajeev is one of the rare viewers of Indian cinema, who has Encyclopedic knowledge of World Cinema, its clear that he has watched the best of world cinema, thats the reason he can make out whats Shit, whats plain watchable & whats Entertaining Cinema.
His wit & sense of Dark Humour are his assets. I remember the day when he reviewed the Crappy movie of Sushmita Sen called “Zindagi Rocks“. This is what he said about the movie – “Do you know how it feels if you keep on continuously banging your head against a Hard Concrete wall for 3 long hours. Well watch Zindagi Rocks, and you will feel the pain in the exact magnitude”
Infact Rajeev is perhaps the only Film Critic in India today who has the balls to give many Big Buget Multi Starer Movies, a big Fat 0 (Zero).
Pseudo-Intellectuals – Raja Sen & Khalid Mohammed (Film Critics on Rediff.com & Hindustan Times respectively)
Raja Sen Khalid Mohd.
The above Mentioned Movie Reviewers call themselves no-nonsense reviewers. But if you check their movie reviews, they always take their no-nonsense behavior a little too far. See, many times they give away the climax. Seriously, I’m not kidding. The whole damn climax, right in front of your eyes. And they look pretty damn confident in giving it away. I know, they must not have liked the movie which is why the 1.5 stars. But that is not the question here. The question is about moral ethics of a responsible scribe. You would at least put a spoiler alert in there.
Producers spend millions and there is a whole crew that slogs its ass for years together to come up with a movie and they just write it off in what, 30 mins? C’mon, give us a break. I’m not sure how many people actually even read their reviews.
And if you ever follow their reviews, its been ages since they have written a positive review. They even like bashing small budget multiplex comedies like Bheja Fry. Their passion is to try & only Focus on the Loopholes in an otherwise good film.
They always find most actor’s performances Morose & Lackluster. They feel the Editing of every film was poor.
Khalid Mohammed is known to always praise Dharmender and his movies, take Potshots at Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan & even Amitabh Bachchan as his Relationship got strained with the The Big B since 2005. Khalid makes a point to run down the Big B as much as he can, being very biased all the time. (And Khalid is the same man who had written Amitabh Bachchan’s award winning & best selling Biography “To Be or Not to Be”, but that was before 2005, when he was friends with The Big B). He also has the Audacity to call most Débutante actors incompetent. I mean, come on, give them a break. Its just their 1st Movie, you can’t expect them to act like an Al Pacino, Robert Deniro or Julie Christie for d first time.
And Mr. Khalid Mohammed has made 3 Films till now (an Average Fiza & two Box Office Flops & Critical Failures as well – Tehzeeb & Silsilay). My Message for him -Now if you don’t have the talent & the brains to make a good Movie even after 3 attempts, it gives you no right to Bring Down other people’s movies.
About Raja Sen of Rediff, the less said the better. He is the one who puts Spoilers in almost every review of his. He is known to be Very Biased, as he is in favour of Shah Rukh Khan & Hrithik Roshan movies & his native Bangla (Bengali) movies. He always makes a point to trash Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan & Yash Raj Movies and also thinks each & every Hollywood movie is superior to Indian movies.
Well thats my take on some Intellectuals & Pseudo-Intellectuals. You may or may not agree with it. But I’m sure that you’r happy that I blogged on something else this time, and I will continue to do so. I’m waiting for your comments and my arms are open to receive both bouquets & brickbats.
Damn, I made it too long again, although I vowed to keep my new Blosgite with shorter blogs. I feel I really am “Not a Man of Few Words“.