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Predicament of Pakistani Intelligentsia; so-called Intellectual Elite



Pakistan's intellectual elite

One of the virtues of notable scholars, scientists and intellectuals is that they pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation with grace. They take great pride in their students and “the younger ones,” whom they consider inheritors of their legacy. They celebrate their successes and embrace the joy of witnessing them surpass their achievements, after all, they understand that the future holds greater possibilities, and the youth can impact the world like never before.

Unfortunately, this does not hold for the Pakistani intelligentsia, which has expressed its dislike & contempt for the new generation repeatedly. The so-called intelligentsia, the educated class, the opinion-makers, and the journalistic elite of Pakistan frown upon the youth of this country, so much so that they termed them as ignorant, misled ungracious trolls. And while this only shows their pettiness, the underlying reason for such contempt is that the youth has challenged their monopoly over the media and political discourse of the country, which they had maintained for decades.

Historically, the mainstream electronic media & newspapers have been dominated by a small powerful journalistic clique or the so-called intellectual elite. These people have dominated the political discourse over the last four (4) decades or more. Unfortunately, these people are driven by personal interests and never by the sense of morality or responsibility that comes with their job. They maintain close ties with the mafias & the political elite of the country, and they sell their soul & conscience for a financial incentive or some position within the government machinery. They consistently peddle a false narrative, lie blatantly, and present an incorrect picture of reality, and in return, are rewarded by those in power. For instance:

This politics of give and take has been a hallmark of Pakistani politics and is exploited by our so-called intelligentsia. This way, a small clique of people has effectively maintained a monopoly over media, and they have been successful in controlling the political discourse & narrative. This is one of the fundamental reasons why Pakistani democracy hasn’t strengthened in 75 years.

Until now!

The uptake of social media has effectively threatened the hegemony of a small elite over political discourse. Those in power can longer control what can be hidden from the public, what can be presented, or how it can be presented. Now everyone with a smartphone has a voice. Everyone with access to the internet and social media has a platform to raise that voice. The flow of information can no longer be “controlled.” The true voice of the public can no longer be silenced. As a result, people are “well aware” of the truth, they no longer rely on the intellectually dishonest intellectual elite, nor are they influenced by their false and incorrect analysis.

And so, this small elite feels threatened, it feels scared; scared of being irrelevant, scared of losing control, scared of being replaced by those they always looked down upon and held in contempt. Scared of losing out on ill-gotten wealth!

So, while the intelligentsia aggressively attacks the youth and deems them “ill-informed.” deep down these attacks are hollow. They’re losing control – fast – and they’re desperately trying to cling on for as long as they can. But these efforts will be in vain because “no force can win against an idea whose time has come.”