I say this at the risk of sounding elitist or worse still even self-aggrandizing and pompous: There is a dumbing down of the masses going on an epic scale. The street smart, bill paying, monthly wage earner—who thinks he knows everything—is essentially a beast of burden capable of subsisting, but highly incapable of critical thought. In an age where prime time news and WhatsApp forwards have become the lifeline of information, herding the masses, already numbed by a lackadaisical alma matter, becomes easy.
If one were to pay heed to the direction in which economies of the world, including those that were the precursors of the industrial revolution, are heading, it becomes pretty obvious that the present dispensations are increasingly hostile to intellectualism. They have been found actually to suppress the proliferation of high-quality education; a sinister yet very real strategy devised to keep the masses at bay, aimed precisely at keeping them perennially embroiled in the vicious cycle of hand-to-mouth subsistence.
They are too absorbed in their insecurity to pay heed to the underhandedness of policymakers, even as they ruthlessly suck them dry—not just of their hard-earned pennies but also more alarmingly, for any remnants of sanity that they may harbour. They try replacing the same with pure and unadulterated hate and bigotry—facets of the human emotion milked from time immemorial to fashion the echelons of power.
As a consequence, a substantial chunk of what our universities churn out year after year is astoundingly deficient not just in their understanding of the subject matter but also in the very fundamentals essential to gain more knowledge and stay relevant. I say this at the risk of making a sweeping generalisation and being wholly aware of the fact that there are obvious exceptions to the norm.
This proletarianization of the masses, where the power to comprehend or to even piece together a simple grammatically coherent sentence—forget the queen’s language for a moment, but even in the language of their choice from those with manifold titles to their names—stands compromised, is catastrophic.
When one loses the ability to discern, he is lost at sea and becomes cannon fodder for those who thrive on exploiting his naivety. The hordes, as is glaringly apparent in the times that we live in, are then driven not by facts but by pulp fiction.