Prithviraj and the problem of being intelligent

Prithviraj is a young movie actor from Kerala.  He belongs to a family of movie actors; his father was a celebrated actor, his mother and elder brother are also actors though his reputation as an actor surpasses theirs.  I am not a movie buff and have not watched enough movies of this actor to make a fair judgement about his acting.  In fact, Prithviraj gained my attention through the interviews he gave to TV channels rather than his movies.  The interviews revealed  him as a young man of high intelligence.   That’s how I took note of him.

Now Prithviraj is going to act in a Hindi movie, Ayya, with Rani Mukherjee as the heroine.  I understand that the story is about a Tamil boy falling in love with a Marathi girl. 

What has gathered my attention now is the virtual assault that is being launched against Prithviraj by certain vested interests in Kerala.  There’s a whole lot of propaganda against him in the internet.  There are attacks unleashed on the posters that carry his picture.  There’s hooting in the theatres where his pictures are released.

I don’t know why it is happening.  But I’m hazarding a guess. 

Mediocrity hates intelligence.

Watching the interviews that Prithviraj gave to certain prominent Malayalam TV channels, I had the foreboding that he would face problems.  He was too outspoken, too confident, too intelligent.  All wrong qualities for a public person.  A public person has to be diplomatic and pretentious. 

Recently I watched on a TV channel his mother saying something to the effect that Prithviraj was a little too stiff with his opinions even at home.  The mother spoke of it as a particular personality trait rather than as a blemish. 

Prithviraj had made remarks, in his interviews, about certain leading actors in Kerala.  I think he was quite right about what he said.  I also hold that he, like any other individual, has every right to express his opinion.   But life has also taught me that if we express our opinions forthrightly, especially when the opinions may hurt the interests of another person or group, we may have to pay for it heavily. 

Life may now be teaching some such lessons to Prithviraj.    Otherwise, the world won’t let him survive.  Not in the film industry, anyway.  Even elsewhere.  The world fears the intelligent more than the worst criminals.


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4 Responses to Prithviraj and the problem of being intelligent

  1. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    Celebrating stupidity goes hand in hand with being afraid of intelligence. Please tell me why else the exhortation “Speak truth to power” needs to be blared at all. If one is intelligent, she needs to be bold also. Cowardly intelligence is of no use. Here is where Prithviraj is probably getting into trouble – not through intelligence but in the enunciation of the same, to the stupid.

    Raghuram Ekambaram

    • matheikal says:

      It is the hot blood of the youth, perhaps. I’m sure Prithviraj will soon learn to keep his blood cool.

      Prithviraj’s enunciation was not offensive in any way as far as I could see. It was forthright. But as Jesus said, one should not throw pearls before swines…

  2. saru singhal says:

    Mediocrity hates intelligence, three words which are so true. I wrote an article sometime back about how Aishwarya Rai is such a big brand. She is extremely careful while speaking. I think people don’t respect honesty and intelligence. If you want to survive with a mass appeal, always be politically correct.

    • matheikal says:

      Yes, Saru. If you want to be a popular person, people’s person, you have to be politically correct. And if you are politically correct, you can hoodwink the masses!

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