“All men are intellectuals, one could therefore say; but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals”  -  Antonio Gramsci

A rural society is an organized, small or large group of people living together at a certain place away from towns and cities, following some norms and ideologies constituted by the body itself. A rural society is considered to be developed when all the people in the area are self-contained in every aspects of life, such as economy, education, social status, politics, culture etc. But, now a days, it is observed that every rural society, excepting very few, particularly in backward and river-prone areas, is underdeveloped due to lack of minimum opportunities it should get. I think, the Intellectual persons living in the villages are to bell the cat. With the advancement of science and technology many changes have occurred in every aspect of human life, but if we look at rural areas we find little changes. The reason behind is the inaccessibility of basic opportunities such as education, electricity, communication etc.

Responsibility refers to any duty or obligation a person is entrusted with. An Intellectual has to perform social, economic, political, educational, cultural responsibilities etc. It also stands for promise in moral context. I can illustrate it by quoting Robert Frost’s last stanza of the poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. The woods are lovely, dark and deep/But I have promises to keep/and miles to go before I sleep/Miles to go before I sleep.” Here the word promise stands for moral duty.

“An intellectual is one who fulfils a particular set of functions in the society.”(Antonio Gramsci).An intellectual is one who has philosophy of life to enlighten others; one who is socialistic and functions actively in the society. The intellectuals, wherever they are, try their best to come up with new ideas, concepts, thoughts, ideologies and spread among the social beings as part of their responsibility. Knowledge is the main concern of such people, not the academic qualifications. In rural societies, as the development depends upon them, they have multiple responsibilities to perform.

Socio-economic responsibilities

  • They should first take Society Development Initiative as a scheme.
  • Steps to be taken for removal of social prejudices, blind beliefs etc.. For example, for removal of pre-age marriage tradition the unaware guardians should be personally made and discussed on the future effects of the practice.
  • To eradicate child labor from the society they should interact with the keepers as well as the guardians that this practice is a crime and a hindrance in his/her right for education and growth. Instead the guardians should be motivated to get their children admitted at schools.
  • Incorporation of all the unemployed youths in voluntary social organization, govt. and NGOs for earning the minimum. They should motivate a great number of engagement in vocational training institutes. They should be engaged in social developmental initiatives through socio-educational and other agencies so that they get little time to think for moral abuse, which may cause youth unrest. Youth unrest leads to the creation of anti-social activities. One example for organizing the youth intellectuals can set any social welfare association.
  • Women who deserve government jobs should be allowed for the same. This needs mention because in some rural families women are not allowed to enter into service. And those who are not eligible for jobs should be encouraged by letting them engage in some homely tiny business like poultry habitation, bamboo works, handicraft etc. Intellectuals should render strict social norms so that women have not be harassed in any form. Every family in the society should be aware of women’s equal right. For removal of dowry system in villages, intellectuals should make them aware that it is religiously prohibited by the way.
  • Encouraging the aged ones to set or form Village Aged People’s Club for their mental nourishment as well as their security and basic needs for survival. Families should be aware of the fact that they (the aged) should be brought up with special care.
  • Organizing social events which help in the understanding and integrity among people.
  • They should make families sensitive of education and of its benign influence upon life. Without proper education a family can never proceed. For example, families without education are the platform for over population growth and it is no doubt the hindrance for social development.
  • In almost all villages poverty is another threat. In this case intellectuals should motivate the family members to be work-alcoholic first. Intellectuals can also publicly honor and respect the successful farmers so many others get encouraged. This is one model for promoting all occupationals. Besides, family planning is a must for every family to develop.
Political Responsibilities
  • To make sure that every family is getting the requirements from the govt. schemes, the political leaders should avoid, at any rate, corruption since they are the political intellectuals of the society.
  • Ensure voting exercise for every people above 18 years of age. Political intellectuals should not interfere in people’s democracy.
  • Democracy should never be substituted for power, money etc.. Social animals should not even be emotionally blackmailed.
  • Intellectual should not encourage the entry of politics into educational institutions.
  • Ensure that women are given equal representation power in election.
  • Political intellectuals should avoid corruption and not sell his/her intelligence while coming into power and money.
  • Intellectuals should organize Law Awareness Meet to discuss some political and social problems to be solved.
Educational Responsibilities

Education plays the most important role in the development of a child, of a family, of a society, and then of a country. Intellectuals are connected with the production and distribution of knowledge (formal, informal and non-formal).
  • Through interaction with the unaware guardians they should ensure compulsory education to all children. They can organize street play on compulsory education at public places. Misconception regarding girls education should be removed from the families.
  • Motivation and encouragement to needy but meritorious students to continue studies. They should be recognized and publicly honored. They should be funded if possible from any social funding agency.
  • Self engagement with the local institutions and helping in the smooth running.
  • They should not leave the stone unturned to keep educational Institutes free from politics.
  • Establishment of co-educational institutions, Special Education Centers for aged and interested and also Adult Education Centers with the help from govt. or any other NGOs. Night Schooling system can also be put in place for women.

Cultural Responsibilities

Culture means what we do in our day to day life; it is all about our life style. Cultural traditions help in keeping the society familiar. It helps in the habitation of national integrity.

  • Holding of cultural events in the villages.
  • Enlightening the village people with the neighbor’s culture through active participation in cultural programs.
  • Representation of any social evil with a view to abolish it through staging a drama or film or theatre arrangement at public places for their cultural awareness.
  • Enlightening the village with the knowledge of world culture through participation in state-national level exhibition and events etc.
Moral Responsibilities

Morality is the most important trait of human nature. The beauty of a society can also be reflected in the moral strength of every being of the society.

  • Every child of a family should be preached at a very young age.
  • Intellectuals should make sure that the family elders use socially acceptable words and language in front of children.
  • They should ensure all children of about 10-15 years involvement in sports and games for their physical fitness. Games and sports at this stage indirectly help them keeping away from being morally degraded.
  • Youths should be properly arranged and organized and should be kept busy with social works so that they dare not to commit any moral abuse in society.
  • Intellectuals play a vital role in a rural society. Intellectuals’ ideas, thoughts can bring changes to the community. Ideologies and their application in the society should be in the way of conversing the group into social levers. Everyone should co-operate intellectuals in their initiatives. Intellectuals should think that they are in the society to develop whereas others should think they are in the group to help. So, we can conclude that the responsibilities are not only of intellectuals but also of others as a whole.
About the Author: Akkas Ali Ahmed studies at Tezpur University and he is doing MA in English. His Hobby are Reading Newspapers and Writing articles on multiple issues of society. [Read More]

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