[አንድ ለቅዳሜ] የአደባባይ ምሑራኑ የት ገቡ?

ከሁለት ዓመት በፊት፤ ዝነኛው የአዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ “ስታፍ ላውንጅ”። በወቅቱ ከሥራዬ በተጨማሪ የዩኒቨርሲቲው የድኅረ ምረቃ ተማሪ ስለነበርኩም ጭምር ከግቢው አልጠፋም ነበር። በንባብና በመጻፍ መካከል የቡና እረፍት ለማድረግ ስታፍ ላውንጅ እንደገባሁ በአንድ ጠረጴዛ ዙሪያ ወደ ተቀመጡት መምህራን እንድቀላቀል የተሰጠኝን የግብዣ ምልክት አክብሬ የጨዋታው ተሳታፊ ሆንኩ። ቦታው ዩኒቨርሲቲ በመሆኑ ብቻ የጨዋታው ርእሰ ጉዳይም ይሁን ይዘት የተለየ እንዲሆን መጠበቅ የዋህነት ነው። ትምህርት የቀመሱ ኢትዮጵያውያን የሚያደርጉት የቡና ላይ ጨዋታ በአብዛኛው መሠረታዊ ጠባዩ አይለወጥም። በየመካከል ሳቅ ጣል እየተደረገበት “የሐሳብ በየአይነቱ” ይነሳል፣ ይወድቃል። ሒሳብ ተወራርዶ አስተናጋጁ የቡና ስኒዎችን ሲሰበስብና ታዳሚዎቹ ለመሄድ ሲነሱ ግን አንዱንም ሐሳብ ቢሆን የምር የሚወስደው ሰው እምብዛም አይገኝም።

ጥቂት ዶክተሮች እና ጥቂት ወጣት መምህራን በተገኙባት ጠረጴዛችን ፖለቲካም፣ የኅብረተሰብ ለውጥም ወዘተ “ጨዋታን ጨዋታ እያነሳው” ተዳሰሱ። ተማሪ ብቻ ሳልሆን ጋዜጠኛም ስለሆንኩ ጭምር ሐሳቦቹን ላለመርሳት ስልኬ ላይ አጫጭር ማስታወሻ መውሰድ ነበረብኝ (የቡና ታዳሚዎቼን ማንነት ለመደበቅ ስል ርእሰ ጉዳዮቹንም እዚህ መጥቀስ አልተገባኝም፤ ይልቁንም ለዚህ ጽሑፍ ጭብጥ የሚረዳ አይደለም)።

በመጨረሻ ሁላችንም ወደየጉዳያችን ስናመራ “ሊጻፍባቸው ይችላሉ” ካልኳቸው ሐሳቦች አንዱን ካነሱት መምህር ጋራ በአንድ አቅጣጫ የምንሄድ ነበርን። አጋጣሚውን ካገኘሁ አይቀር በሚል በርእሰ ጉዳዩ ላይ ማንበብና ጋዜጣ ላይ ጥቂት መስመሮች መጻፍ እንደምፈልግ ነገርኳቸው። ምሁሩን ራሳቸውን “ጻፉልን” ብሎ መጠየቅ ቀላሉ ነገር ነበር፤ ሆኖም ከዚህ ቀደም እንዲህ አይነት ጥያቄ ደግሜ እንዳላነሳባቸው የገባሁትን ቃል ማክበር ነበረበኝ። አስገራሚው ነገር “የማነበውን ጠቁሙኝ” ለሚለው ጥያቄ ጭምር የሰጡኝ መልስ ነው። ሰውየው ጉዳዩን ሌሎች ሰዎች ባሉበት ስላነሳነው አሁን ብጽፍበት ለእርሳቸው ጥሩ እንደማይሆን ነገሩኝ። በጉዳዩ ላይ መጻፌንም ለወራት አቆየሁት። ይህ አጋጣሚ የአገራችን ፖለቲካዊ ምኅዳር ለምሁራን ምን ያህል አፋኝ እንደሆነባቸው ያስታውሳል፤ የዚያኑም ያህል ስለምሁሮቻችን ምንነትና ማንነት እንደገና እንዳሰላስል አስገድዶኝ ነበር።

ብዙዎቹ የኢትዮጵያ ምሁራን አደባባይ ወጥቶ መናገርን አጥብቀው ይጠላሉ። አንዳንዶቹ በራሳቸው የትምህርት ዘርፍ ጭምር ባላቸው እውቀት ስልማይተማመኑ እውቀታቸውን እንደ ጥንቆላ ክታብ ሳይገለጥ እንዲኖር የሚፈልጉ ናቸው። አንዳንዶቹ ደግሞ በራሳቸው ጠባብ የጥናት ዘርፍ የተመሰገኑ ቢሆኑም “ፖለቲካን” በተመለከተ ያላቸው አመለካከት በጣም የተዛባ ነው፤ ስለዚህም በሕዝብ አደባባይ ፈጽሞ ባለመገለጥ ከማኅበረሰባቸው የሚደበቁ ናቸው። አንዳነዶቹ ትምህርትን/መማርን እውቀትን እና በዚያም በኩል “እውነትን” የመፈለጊያና የማስፋፊያ መንገድ አድርገው አይመለከቱም፤ ምሁር በመሆንና ሾፌር በመሆን መካከል የሚታያቸው ልዩነት የሚያስገኝላቸው ክብርና ሀብት ብቻ ነው። ስለዚህም አደባባይ የሚወጡት ክብርና ገንዘብ የሚያስገኝላቸው ሆኖ ሲያገኙት እንጂ ስለሌላ የላቀ ዓላማ (መርህ፣ ፍትሕ፣ ነጻነት፣ ሳይንሳዊ እውነት ወዘተ) ሲሉ አይደለም። ጥቂቶቹ በትምህርት ዘርፎቻቸውም ይሁን ከዚያ ውጪ አስተዋጽኦ የማድረግ ማኅበረሳባዊ ሐላፊነት እንዳለባቸው ይረዳሉ፤ ሆኖም አደባባይ ወጥቶ ሕሊናቸውና እውቀታቸው የሚላቸውን በመናገር ማኅበረሰብን ለመቀየር ዋጋ መክፈል አይፈልጉም፣ ወይም ዋጋው ብዙ ሆኖ ይታያቸዋል፣ ወይም ከዚህ ቀደም የከፈሉት ዋጋ (ካለ) በቂ እንደሆነ ያምናሉ። ዝርዝሩ ራሱን የቻለ ጥናት የሚጠይቅ ነው።

ይህ እውነታ አሁን የተፈጠረ አይደለም፤ ቀድሞም የነበረ ነው። በዚህም ምክንያት “ተማሩ” የሚባሉትን ወይም ተማርን የሚሉትን ያህል የአደባባይ ምሁራን (Public Intellectuals) ለማግኘት አልታደልንም። ታዋቂው ጸሐፊ ኤድዋርድ ሴይድ (Representations of the Intellectual) “ምሁሩ ማን ነው?” የሚለውን የብያኔ ጥያቄ ሲመልስ እንዲህ ይላል፤

“The intellectual is an individual with a specific public role in society that cannot be reduced simply to being a faceless professional… The intellectual is an individual endowed with a faculty for representing, embodying, articulating a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion to, as well as for, a public. And this role has an edge to it, and cannot be played without a sense of being someone whose place it is publicly to raise embarrassing questions, to confront orthodoxy and dogma (rather than to produce them), to be someone who cannot easily be co-opted by governments or corporations, and whose raison d’etre is to represent all those people and issues that are routinely forgotten or swept under the rug. The intellectual does so on the basis of universal principles: that all human beings are entitled to expect decent standards of behavior concerning freedom and justice from worldly powers or nations, and that deliberate or inadvertent violation of these standards need to be testified and fought against courageously.”

በሪትዝ ሐሳብ የሚስማሙት አለን ላይትማን የአደባባይ ምሁራንን በሦስት ይከፍሏቸዋል። ለላይትማን የአደባባይ ምሁር ማለት፣

“Such a person is often a trained in a particular discipline, such as linguistics, biology, history, economics, literary criticism, and who is on the faculty of a college or university. When such a person decides to write and speak to a larger audience than their professional colleagues, he or she becomes a “public intellectual.””

ደረጃ አንድ፡ በዚህ ደረጃ የሚመደቡት ምሁራን የሚጽፉትም ሆነ የሚናገሩት ስለራሳቸው ጠባብ የጥናት ዘርፍ ብቻ ነው። ይህም ለሕዝቡ ፋይዳ ያላቸውን ጉዳዮች በጥልቀት በማብራራት በኩል በጣም ጠቃሚ ነው። ሰዎቹ የጥናት ክልላቸውን ድንበር በምንም መልኩ ተሻግረው አይገኙም።

ደረጃ ሁለት፡ ወደዚህ ደረጃ የተሸጋገሩ ምሁራን ከራሳቸው ጠባብ የጥናት ዘርፍ ተነስተው ጉዳዩ ያለውን ማኅበረሰባዊ፣ ባህላዊ እና ፖለቲካዊ ፋይዳ አስመልክተው ይጽፋሉ፣ ይናገራሉ።

ደረጃ ሦስት፡ በዚህ ደረጃ የሚደርሱ ምሁራን እንደ ምልክት መቆጠር ይጀምራሉ። ከጥናት ዘርፋቸው የሰፋና የበለጠ ትልቅ ሐሳብን የሚወክሉ ግዙፍ ስብእና ይላበሳሉ። ስለዚህም ከጥናት ዘርፋቸው ውጭ ባሉ ነገር ግን የላቀ ዋጋ ባላቸው ማኅበረሰባዊ፣ ፖለቲካዊ ወዘተ ጉዳዮች ላይ እንዲናገሩ እና እንዲጽፉ ይጋበዛሉ። የሚሰጡዋቸው ሐሳቦችም የምር ይወሰዳሉ። ጸሐፊው አንስታይን በፖለቲካ፣ በትምህርት፣ በፍልስፍናና በመሳሰሉት ጉዳዮች ላይ ሳይቀር አስተያየቱን ይጠየቅ እንደነበር በምሳሌነት ያነሳሉ።

ይህ የምሁራን “ድንበር ዘለል” የአደባባይ ተሳትፎ ትንተና በሌላ ሊተካም ሆነ ሊሻሻል የሚችል ነው። ቁም ነገሩ ግን አይለወጥም፤ ምሁራን በማኅበረሳቸው ውስጥ የሚኖራቸው ሚና የተለያየ ደረጃ ያለው መሆኑ። እርግጥ አንድ የተማረ ሰው ከምንም ተነስቶ ወደ መጨረሻው ደረጃ ለመድረስ የሚያስችለው ውጫዊ ሁኔታ ከጊዜ ጊዜ፣ ከቦታ ቦታ ይለያያል። ይሁንና እጅግ ወሳኙ ግብአት የግለሰቦቹ ውስጣዊና ግላዊ እምነት፣ ፍላጎት እና ግብ ነው። ቀድሞውኑ የምሁራኑ መገለጫ ነባራዊውን/ያለውን እያጸደቁና እያደነደኑ መኖር ሳይሆን ለሰው ልጅ የተሻለ ሕይወት ለማምጣት ያለውን መለወጥ/መረበሽ ነውና ውጫዊ ሁኔታው ከጅምሩ አጋዣቸው እንዲሆን አይጠበቅም። ይህም ሸክሙን ከውጭ ወደ ውስጥ ይመልሰዋል።

የእኛ የሕዝባዊ ምሁራን እነማን ናቸው? በእኔ ዕድሜ (የላይትማንን ደረጃ ልጠቀምና) ወደ ሦስተኛው ደረጃ መድረስ ችለው የነበሩ የአደባባይ ምሁር ፕሮፌሰር መስፍን ብቻ ናቸው። አሁን ደግሞ ጊዜው አጭር ቢሆንም ዶክተር ዳኛቸው አሰፋ ናቸው። የፕሮፌሰር መስፍን ወደ ፓርቲ ፖለቲካ መግባት (በተለይም የቅርብ ጊዜው የውዝግብ ድራማ) የሚያስነሳው ጥያቄ ቢኖርም ሰውየው ከአደባባይ ምሁርነታቸው የወረዱ አይመስለኝም። ምናልባትም አጋጣሚው የአደባባይ ምሁራንን በፓርቲ ፖለቲካ የሚኖራቸውን ተሳትፎ እንድንቃኝ የሚጠይቅ ነው። ነጻነት ባለበት የምእራቡ ዓለም ያሉና የአደባባይ ምሁር (public intellectual) መባል የሚገባቸው ጸሐፊዎች፣ ተናጋሪዎችም አሉ፣ ቁጥራቸው የእድሉን ያህል አይደለም እንጂ።

ሪትዝን የመሰሉ ጸሐፊዎች የአደባባይ ምሁርነትን ያለውን/ገዢውን አመለካከትና አሰራር በመቃወም ጭምር መለካት እንዳለበት ያምናሉ። ይህም ተቃውሞው ርእዮተ ዓለማዊ፣ የፖሊሲ፣ የአፈጻጸም (አንዱን ወይም ሌላውን) ገጽታ እንደሚኖረው ግልጽ ነው። ይህ ማለት ግን የግድ የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲ ደጋፊነትን የሚጠይቅ ተደርጎ መወሰድ አይችልም፤ በመሠረቱ የገዢው ቡድን/አመለካከት ደጋፊ ሆኖም ለውጥን ማቀንቀን ይቻላል። የዚያኑ ያህልም ገዢውን ፓርቲ መቃወም ምሁራዊ አስተዋጽኦን/ደረጃን የሚቀንስ አለዚያም የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲ ታማኝ ደጋፊ ብቻ አድርጎ የሚያስቆጥር ሊሆን አይችልም።

እያወቁ እንዳላወቁ፣ እያዩ እንዳላዩ፣ እየሰሙ እነዳልሰሙ ሆኖ፣ በለሆሳስ ማንጎራጎር፤ በራስ ዝምታ ውስጥ መቀበር የዘመኑ ፈሊጥ ሆኗል። ይህም ቢሆን ከባድ የመሰላቸው ደግሞ “አንድ ቀንን” እየጠበቁ ንጉሡ መስማት የሚፈልጉትን እየዘፈኑ ቢያንስ ምትሐታዊ ውጫዊ ሰላም ለመፍጠር ይሞክራሉ። የቀሩት ደግሞ በንጉሡ ዙፋን ዙሪያ ተሰብስበው በየቋንቋቸው፣ በየሞያቸው “ሺህ ዓመት ንገሥ” ይላሉ፤ የሺህ ዓመቱ መንግሥት ስለፈጠራት/ስለሚፈጥራት ምድራዊ ገነት ምሁራዊ ቡራኬ ይሰጣሉ፤ “ከዚህ በላይ ምን ትፈልጋላችሁ?” ሲሉ ምሁራዊ ተሳልቆ ያሰማሉ።

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16 Responses to “[አንድ ለቅዳሜ] የአደባባይ ምሑራኑ የት ገቡ?”

  1. Excellent piece of writing. Being literate and do nothing is not better than being illiterate. As Gelanew kirar said in his recent article in amharic:
    “Melhik bebahir wust bizu amet benore,
    Tezefezefe enji mech wana temare.
    Our intellectuals has to speak for truth and be hones for themselves.

    Keep up the good wring my friend.
    Cucu

  2. Wawu!!! I like it. What a good obervation, Mesfin!!!

    I was thinking about our current artists vs the past ones. Those previous musicians/writers were brilliant in addressing the issues of the soceity. However, the artists in these days are always behind money….From the current generation, I only know Teddy Afro from the ‘amharic’ singers; Dawite and some others from ‘Oromic’ singers…

    Dear Mesfin, I would expect you to write similar article on artisits.

    Ewnetu

  3. In my view, Prof. Asrat Weldeyes is the first Ethiopian public intellectual. I don’t know how you could forget this.

  4. Yes,It is a nice article indeed.However,I am not happy on your mentioning of prof.Mesfin only. Why did you miss to mention others?,i.e what Prof. Asrat (who ended up in jail and sacrificed his life for justice and freedom ,Merera Gudina,Beyene Petros,Bulcaha Demekasa.Did you think those aren’t public intellectuals? Or did you have any intention to undermine their,If you don’t have any special perspective on mentioning him(Prof.Mesfin),I don’t think this article is worth to inspire others,though not demoralize.

  5. i love this post, it really depicts the current situation in ethiopia. the most useful thing i read so far, comin from ethiopia. thank you and keep it up. but if u ask y, u will see how information flow is systematically hindered.
    thank you

  6. I wish you put your commentary in perspective,, comparing todays status of Ethiopian intellectuals with that of the earlier period. I believe most of the intellectuals during the monarchial period qualify for the ‘public intellectual’ identification. That is why there still is respect and trust given to educated people in the Ethiopian society. Hence, it will be more revealing if we compare and contrast why there is not so much involvement of the intellectual in important societal affairs or why intellectualls are not playing their crucially needed role towards solving the predicament of the Ethiopian people?

    Professional associations and clubs are the central venues where intellectualls can gather momentum and dispose targeted activities to change and improve lives. There are very few potent professional associations in Ethiopia today. I believe intellectualls either lack the required passion for patriotism or they are locked in the dilemma of ‘sacrificing for a noble cause and flowing with the current with indifference’. Most Ethiopians are locked in this dilemma – we want a better Ethiopia and we also want to relish the same better world. It is like ‘keeping the cake and eating it too’. Some people need to pay the sacrifice though they may not live to see the fruit.

  7. i love this.pls pls keep on writing articles like this.When i go to my comment,i think prof.Mesfin is not the only one.We ethiopians at any level are known for hasty generalization.Don’t you know the students and professors of AAU who are beaten and even killed?Don’t you know how many students from AAU became refugees because of ….or doesn’t this amount to public intellectualism?

    However,the important point i accept is we as a people are not endowed with such kind of guys,especially these days.May be Sebhat G/Egziabher is a public intellectual who preaches sex for our people.lol.i will tell you the answer later.i know it.

  8. I agree with that, Prof. asrat was a startling public intellectual as Prof. mesfin. they dared to stand out and played a major role in the game.too bad they didnt get much attention as they should.

    magnificent piece mesfine!

  9. Well it is a nice observation. But who is accountable for not having too much public intelectuals as we desire? To me the political atmospher, the public, and the intelectual him/her self are accountable. To clarify things,first the political atmospher does not allow you to speak your mind.Anyone who speacks publicly anything that is against the wishs of the government is regarded as member of the opposition party, namely “Kinijit”. Second the majority of the public regard those intellectuals who debate only on issues relevant to the community but do not criticise openly the government as WEYANE,which is disgusting.Even when you comment througn ETV,radio, or newspaper on global issues but has nothing to do specifically with Ethiopia your friends will call you weyane the next day. Finally many intelectuals do not dare to break their fear.Therefore,ወኔ በሌለበት የወኔ ሠዉ ሆኖ በአይነቁራኛ ከመጠበቅና እስር ቤት ከመንገላታት ካስፈለገም በጥይት ከመቆላት፤ሃሳቤን በነፃ በመግለፄ መሆን የማልፈልገዉን ወያኔ ከመባል ፈሪ ሆኖ ዝምታ አይሻልም ትላላችሁ?

  10. Dear Mesfin,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. But isn’t what you said also largely true for our contemporary writers? Can you name one who is respected for his social/political critiques?

  11. mesfin i like your article. it is nice and interesting! but, why you forget the great person prof. asrat

  12. bravo mesfin i really like u article …….

  13. This reminds me of a joke told during the Derg period. There was a certain Doctor (I forgot his name but I think he was a veterinarian) who was a ‘political adviser’ of Mengistu in the early days. The Doctor used to teach Mengistu about Marxism-Leninism. Mengistu became such a good student that in a few years not only he started to teach the Doctor Marxism-Leninism but veterinary science as well. Coming back to the essence of your article I think there must be a missing element in our education system which explains why the system does not prepare the academicians to assume this role of ‘public intellectual’. Yes personal livelihood and insecurity may have a lot to do with it but I think it can’t be explained by that alone. We all know what happened Meles had the televised discussion with the AAU instructors (I don’t think many of them qualify to be called intellectuals). There was practically no one who demonstrated half the analytical or oratory skill of Meles and Addis Ababan’s were saying the ‘intellectuals’ were defeated with a knock out. It was extremely depressing to see that there was no one among the multitude to speak anything that resembles a well thought out analysis and opinion. I believe AAU is largely living on the basis of its past glory. Yes there are a few individuals, like yourself Abiye, Derese and others who were and are writing in AN (and I am surprised how such genius came out of that university), but as a whole I have long lost hope with that institution. It simply has to be remade and the so called intellectuals with it.

    • I don’t buy your critic of AAU staff based on the meeting with Meles. We all know the meeting was a PR campaign for EPRDF. My understanding was the participants were aware of that and thus, silent and engaged half-heartdly. But, still there were few participants who tried to make a good case and impression.

  14. I like this commentary a lot and that is why I keep coming to AN online!
    Seid

  15. The trust of this article was not giving a verdict on who are our public intellectuals. Therefore, that question will remain marginal to the central them. Being a public intellectual is not necessarily about opposing the ruling regime for legitimate or unwarranted reasons. In this context “politics” must be understood in a narrower sense particularly party politics. I came to the conclusion that it will be very dangerous to consider everyone who is educated and stood against a regime as Public Intellectual (PI). That will erode the demarcation between an educated politician from a PI. There might be areas where the two overlap but remain distinctly different. A person can transform from one to the other in many different ways. However, the essence of being a PI is wider than party ideology including nationalism.
    In this light, I found it very difficult to consider individuals, first and most, known for their party politics and remained so as PIs. One can admire students who bravely confronted dictatorship for their courage, but taking them as whole PIs will be slippery. I respect those politicians you have mentioned for their responsible citizenship and sacrifice paid to our country. However, I contend only few of them can qualify to be called PIs.
    Who is responsible? Robel and othere (above) pointed out list of agents responsible this lack of credible PI. The most decisive agent, I argue, is the educated “class” or if one calls it the “elite.” There is no free lunch in politics as it was in economics. It was this group and its members who should fight to get the space to speak of its mind. After all, is it not this same group who has been denying the public of its right to freedom of expression? It is each of us who must think of what we can possibly do. I may invite interested readers to download the book by Edward Said linked in the article.

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