ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Role of the Intellectual

The Role of the Intellectual B L Maheshwari FROM the days of Plato's philosopher king, the role of the intellectual in politics has been a subject of inconclusive debate among intellectuals. The questions often discussed are: should men of ideas also try to become men of action? should they climb down from their classical ivory-towers to jump into the fray of political competition to achieve the social objectives they consider desirable for their country, their times and mankind? is there any incongruence between the intellectual's vocation and involvement in politics? is the intellectual incompetent to shoulder the responsibilities and burdens of political struggle and political power because of his training and temperament? Indian mythology asserts that Saraswati, the goddess of learning, and Laksbmi, the goddess of wealth, cannot make their abode in the same place. Will the goddess of learning find con' genial company with the god of power? These are fascinating questions and any discussion of them is bound to be of immense interest to both intellectuals and politicians as well as to all those who are involved in or affected by the activities of these two groups (which includes just about everybody).

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