This video from Sanjeev Sanyal set me thinking about how intellectuals like Narendar Pani and Shiv Vishwanathan can be so negative about demonetization but most of Indians are positive about it. I have a simple explanation. The intellectual’s mental model of an Indian is completely different from an actual one. Most of the elite are completely out of touch with reality.

The average Indian can easily see herself as part of a greater good while the intellectuals cannot. The armchair expert’s idea of a cold, rational human being always keeping economics as the only driver of their daily life does not fit the actual large hearted, patriotic and hopeful Indian.

The intellectual can cynically sneer and say that if there is anything that inconveniences an individual it has to be bad and that people have to protest and resent. The average Indian begs to differ and can take the personal, temporary hardship for a greater cause. They can think as a society, as a community. One crore Indians gave up LPG subsidy because one man gave a clarion call. They can clean up their neighbourhood without expecting anything in return. They can stand in queues for hours to take their own money. They can defy the Maoist and the Islamist and go to vote.

Sanyal was right and Shiv/Narendar were wrong. Big time.