Meeting with Noam Chomsky
Professor Noam Chomsky is indeed one of the greatest thinkers of our time. I was introduced to him for the first time by my English language teacher Sir Zahir Hussain in my hometown of Panjgur in Balochistan. He assigned me Chomsky’s book Necessary Illusions as a reading task. Mr. Hussain had previously introduced me with Bertrand Russell, the biggest philosophical influence on me.
Today, I finally had the opportunity to meet Professor Chomsky in person at his office in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It appeared like a coincidence that there was only one picture, rather a grand poster, in his office. And it was that of Bertrand Russell.
Professor Chomsky,85, was kind enough to meet and discuss the conflict in Balochistan. As we sat to talk, he began to ask questions like an eager doctor who finds a lead by following the patient’s responses. He is such a committed listener that he can make you nervous. The very thought that one of the greatest contemporary philosophers and linguists is quizzing you about the dynamics of a conflict is enough to make you nervous. He was very kind and walked me to the door as our meeting ended.
P.S: My readers may be keen to know about the contents of our discussion but I will not be writing about it since ours was an informal and off-the-record meeting.