Swami vs Dawood: Of Gadkari, IQ and a pre-teen debate

Would Gadkari have beaten my 12-yr-old classmate back in the ’70s? Going by the BJP chief’s insight shown in Vivekanand vs Dawood IQ point, he might just have.

bvrao

BV Rao | November 6, 2012


BJP chief Nitin Gadkari
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari

I am not sure whether I was Class VI or VII at the time. It was the time of the school annual day in the seventies and the title of the best debater was up for grabs. The topic for that year’s debate was, as predictable as school debate topics are, “Is science good for us or bad?”

Sumaiyya (can’t remember her surname), a girl from my class, deservedly took the trophy that year, beating many contestants from senior classes. The line that got her the most applause, and the title, went something like this: “Science is not good or bad. It is what use we put it to that is good or bad.” And I still remember the example she quoted to underscore her argument: “A knife in the hand of a criminal can take a human life but a knife in a surgeon’s hand can save a human life.”

Also read: Gadkari betrays Parivar's shallow intellect, exit certain

To all of us, her classmates in pre-teens, it sounded starkly intelligent. That is perhaps why I still remember the incident, though my own debating skills should have dictated that I erased all memories of it. 

I remembered Sumaiyya and her winning lines yesterday, after nearly four decades, thanks to Nitin Gadkari, president of the nation’s principal opposition party, the BJP. He seemed to have stolen Sumaiyya’s lines while addressing the complex question of whether a high IQ is good for us or bad at a function in Bhopal on November 5.

“As per psychology, if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekananda and Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been the same,” Gadkari said. “But Vivekananda used it in nation-building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used that in excelling in the crime world.”

The point he was trying to make was, of course, that high IQ is by itself not good or bad; it is how you use it that makes it good or bad. Sumaiyya is lucky Gadkari went to school in Nagpur and not Jawahar Vidyalaya in Chennai, or else she may have had to share the honours that day with the future BJP president, assuming, of course, that he was as bright a student then as he is now a politician.

Yesterday, I felt even more proud of Sumaiyya than I did back then. It was significant that as a mere 12-year-old, she had matched the intelligence and intellect that the president of the BJP would display almost four decades later! Yes, Sumaiyya suddenly looked in much better light yesterday.

But wait…how does it reflect on Gadkari’s image as the president of the BJP to display the intellect of a pre-teen girl in a school debate some 40 years ago? No wonder Sushma Swaraj is supposed to have said that the "oldest and wisest" in the party should replace Gadkari.

Comments

 

Other News

How the Great War of Mahabharata was actually a world war

Mahabharata: A World War By Gaurang Damani Sanganak Prakashan, 317 pages, Rs 300 Gaurang Damani, a Mumbai-based el

Budget expectations, from job creation to tax reforms…

With the return of the NDA to power in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, all eyes are now on finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s full budget for the FY 2024-25. The interim budget presented in February was a typical vote-on-accounts, allowing the outgoing government to manage expenses in

How to transform rural landscapes, design 5G intelligent villages

Futuristic technologies such as 5G are already here. While urban users are reaping their benefits, these technologies also have a potential to transform rural areas. How to unleash that potential is the question. That was the focus of a workshop – “Transforming Rural Landscape:

PM Modi visits Rosatom Pavilion at VDNKh in Moscow

Prime minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by president Vladimir Putin, visited the All Russian Exhibition Centre, VDNKh, in Moscow Tuesday. The two leaders toured the Rosatom Pavilion at VDNKh. The Rosatom pavilion, inaugurated in November 2023, is one of the largest exhibitions on the histo

Let us pledge to do what we can for environment: President

President Droupadi Murmu on Monday morning spent some time at the sea beach of the holy city of Puri, a day after participating in the annual Rath Yatra. Later she penned her thoughts about the experience of being in close commune with nature. In a message posted on X, she said:

PM leaves for Russia, Austria

All eyes are on the Narendra Modi-Vladimir Putin meeting, as the prime minister left Monday for an official visit of Russia as also of Austria. In the ‘departure statement, the PM said, “I am embarking on an official visit to the Russian Federation for the 22nd Annual Summit and

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter