The Role of Intelligentsia

Intelligentsia is brain of any society and it can tailor the public opinion any way. These are the most intelligent, intellectual or highly educated members of a society or community. It is an important agent of change and has capacity to influence the decision-makers as well as masses. In the developed world, intelligentsia are themselves are part of policy-making process. However, situation is different in the third world. But it goes beyond any doubt that intelligentsia has eminent role to play in every society.

All the mass movements are being brokered by intelligentsia since ancient times. Even history of Pakistan is witness to this fact. All the important national movements have rich intellectual backing. The Intelligentsia played an eminent role in the creation of Pakistan and even there were intellectual reasons behind the dismemberment of Pakistan. More recently, the lawyer’s movement has the backing of Intelligentsia. Otherwise, this movement would not have been survived for so long. The lawyer’s movement is unique in the history of Pakistan and Pakistani nation pays tribute to the lawyers for it. The civil society and independent media also come forward to champion the cause of independent judiciary.

Pakistan movement is led by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his vision and thoughts are much more important for Pakistani nation. He was aware of the crucial role which intelligentsia can play in the creation of Pakistan. Even when Muslims were passing resolution for the part ion of subcontinent, Quaid directly devoted a remarkable part of his address to the Muslim intelligentsia. During his Presidential address delivered at 27th session of All India Muslim League held at Lahore March 22-24 1940, he appealed that;

“Anyhow, I have placed before you the task that lies ahead of us. Do you realize how big and stupendous it is? Do you realize that you cannot get freedom or independence by mere arguments? I should appeal to the intelligentsia. The intelligentsia in all countries in the world has been the pioneers of any movements for freedom. What does the Muslim intelligentsia propose to do? I may tell you that unless you get this into your blood, unless you are prepared to take of your coats and are willing to sacrifice all that you can, and work selflessly, earnestly and sincerely for your people, you will never realize your aim.”

He further continued that;

“Friends, I therefore want you to make up your minds definitely, and then think of devices and organize your people, strengthen your organization and consolidate the Musalmans all over India. I think that the masses are wide awake. They only want your guidance and lead. Come forward as servants of Islam organize the people economically, socially, educationally and politically, and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.”

This was the role which Quaid has defined for intelligentsia. Today again Pakistan is going through a critical phase of her life. There is poverty, inflation which has made the life of a common Pakistani very difficult. His basic are denied and he do not have access to justice. He can send a person to parliament as Member Parliament, but that MP is not accountable before common Pakistani. Now the intelligentsia should give up the attitude in the words of, as Cowper has explained the hypocritical nature of man in a verse

“He blamed and protested but joined the plan,

He shared the plunder but pitied the man.”

The intelligentsia must champion the cause of common man. The masses are “wide awake” and they only want the “guidance and lead” from them. The end never justifies means and our intelligentsia must not be driven by “doctrine of necessity”


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