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Chapter 22: The Greatest Discovery There Is

I was a student in the university, participating in an all-India debate - almost fifty universities were participating. Knowing that I cannot speak very loudly, that if there are ten thousand people, I cannot reach them, they played a trick: they removed the microphone. At least one thing became certain: I am not going to get the first prize. Because only the first two or three rows in front of me could hear me, and the judges were sitting behind - they would not be able to hear a single word. The mike was there. When I arrived it was being used - the president, the vice-chancellor of that university, were speaking.

And then they started whispering to each other.

I was sitting just behind them. I figured out that they are thinking to remove the mike so that at least I could not get the first prize. Anybody else could get it, that did not matter.

They had put my name first, so I said, “I am not interested in any prize, so include me out!” And I took the mike and I said, “I will use my time to talk to the students and to the staff. You need not be worried, just cancel my name on your list of people who are going to win the prize. I think now there is no problem for you if I use the mike.”

I used the mike. I reached every judge and every person and in the end I said: “This was a conspiracy, because I speak slowly. I am not a street orator. I would ask you - the ten thousand people: students, professors, invited guests - what do you want? Should I remain on the list or should I drop the idea of the prize?”

They all raised their hands saying, “You should remain on the list.” And the whole thing turned completely upside down because only I used the mike and nobody else used the mike, so the judges could not hear anybody.

One judge told me: “This has been so hilarious! What they wanted turned out just the opposite. We were very happy that you managed well.

We wanted to hear you; we have come to hear you - not to hear all these childish debaters.”

The same is the situation with awards all over the world: childish people, for reasons of politics, are getting Nobel prizes. These people may be famous intellectually but they are not people of genius. They are not people who have love in their hearts, justice, fairness. There is jealousy, and it takes such stupid forms that you cannot believe it.

One man has written a letter to the German parliament that I am a hidden Catholic and in fact, I am working to spread Christianity, Catholicism. Now even Christ must have laughed, although he is not a fellow who would even smile, but at this point he must have laughed. Because I am a hidden Catholic, I should not be allowed in Germany. This is the intelligentsia! But because I have been against our so-called intelligentsia too, the problem has become more complicated.

I am all for intelligence and not at all for intellect and I make a very clear-cut distinction between the two. Intellect is part of the mind - you can go on becoming bigger and bigger and more and more knowledgeable by accumulating information: you will be thought a great intellectual. These are the people who constitute our intelligentsia. All that they know is borrowed.

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