Rober Browning in his famed poem titled – The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Into the street the Piper stept,

Smiling first a little smile,

As if he knew what magic slept

In his quiet pipe the while;

Then, like a musical adept,

To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,

And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,

Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled;

And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,

You heard as if an army muttered;

And the muttering grew to a grumbling;

And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;

And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.

Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,

Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,

Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,

Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,

Families by tens and dozens,

Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives–

Followed the Piper for their lives.

From street to street he piped advancing,

And step for step they followed dancing,

Until they came to the river Weser

Wherein all plunged and perished!

The poem could well have been titled -the Pied Piper of Inida!

Why, you may ask, do I say this?

Before answering your question, let me explain my view of the story.

It was said that Pied Piper possessed some magical powers that enabled him to attract the rats of Hamelin, and lead them to their death. In fact, the truth is this – a few of the rats liked the music he played, and so they followed him. The rest of the rats simply followed these other rats!

That is what is happening in our great country, India!

It has been always said unity makes one stronger. But unity at the cosy of individuality will make you weeker! India is driven by the crowd mentality or what I now name the Pied Piper mentality! 90% of Indians are busy doing things because that is what every one else is doing.

Let us take a few examples –

First,  let us evaluate the education system in India.

What does education mean to a middle class family? If the kid is extremely good academically, he or she studies medicine, the next level of people rush into engineering. The rest filter into Commerce and arts! Why? Not always because the field they choose interests them, but because they just follow the rat in front! In this mad rush, the only looser is individuality! Just because an individual is brilliant academically, does not mean that he or she is best suited to be a doctor!  Mind you, when I say Doctor, I mean the guy that saves lives, not that mean money making machine! On the same token, not every student that fails miserably academically, deserves to be relegated to the, so-called ‘non professional’ colleges!

The latest buzz word in the world of education is ‘MBA’. Every one wants to do it. Why? It helps me further my career! How, may I ask? Yes there are a few career paths that move faster if armed with an MBA, but most only find this extra degree a burden! Armed with an MBA, the Doctor wants to sit in a large office, managing people, rather than saving lives. Armed with an MBA  , an Engineer, wants to keep his hands clean! If all you wanted to do was ‘manage’ then why did you waste expensive resources that were employed to make you an Engineer or a Doctor? Hey, because I could! BS

The Pied Piper mentality can be seen in other facets of life. Lets take cricket! Do not get me wrong, I love the game. I follow every cricket match that features India (and some that do not.) I, like most Indians, am the happiest when India wins and the saddest when India looses!  Maybe its the fact that I am away from my country, or maybe that I have become wiser, but now I feel that cricket is highly detrimental to the Indian society! This one game has been responsible for a drainage of a lot of resources. If a nation can have 23 world class cricket grounds all over the nation, I am sure it can afford a few astroturf hockey grounds, so that India can regain some lost glory. Most younsters may not even know that Hockey is our national game. We invented it for crying out loud!  If a nation can have cricket coaching camps in every third corner of every city, it can surely have a few football coaching facilities! The MRF pace foundation churns out great fast bowlers! Why can’t a company sponsor a football academy. An academy that takes in youngsters and moulds them into great football players? Why? Cause we are rats, and we follow the rats in front!

Followed the Piper for their lives.

From street to street he piped advancing,

And step for step they followed dancing,

Until they came to the river Weser

Wherein all plunged and perished!

Wake up Indians before we follow the Pied Piper to the river, and perish!

Let us unite without loosing our individuality! Let us form a team of individuals that do follow a common goal, but a goal that is forumated from a set of indivdual goals!

Let us put the Pied Piper to rest once and for all!

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