When Modi made it to the Coldplay gig and quoted Bob Dylan

Charumathi Sankaran
Charumathi SankaranNov 19, 2016 | 23:44

When Modi made it to the Coldplay gig and quoted Bob Dylan

The Times They Are A-Changin'. Now you're probably reading this standing in a queue that will last longer than the Coldplay concert keeping droves of the band's (richest) fans in Mumbai awake tonight, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to assure you that testing as they may seem, the times are indeed changing - and he chose Nobel laureate (never mind that he won't accept the prize) Bob Dylan's words to drive his message home.


The PM literally played it "cool" as he addressed the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai over a tele-conference tonight. His trademark "Mitron", usually employed to engage Bharat the rest of the year, transformed into "guys" and "dear friends" to match the upbeat mood of young, urban India. Here's how it went:

"To make public policy cool is no mean task. Thank you guys for having me over... You asked me to address the gathering. But not sing. Else, the audience would be asking you for your money back - that too in 100-rupee notes."

At Coldplay's gig, Modi seemed to be singing a different tune. Credit: ANI

In trying to make public policy "cool", the PM has managed to get himself a sense of humour.

True to form, Modi once again peddled some "swachh" wisdom to the youth: "My dear friends, we can and we will build a Swachh Bharat free of all kinds of filth within one generation. The moment you decide to do so."

But even die-hard Modi fans and Modi baiters were not prepared for what the PM said next. His government and party have frequently earned the scorn of liberals in the country and outside for imposing curbs on freedom of expression and intolerance (you can find more on that here, here and here), but at Coldplay's gig, Modi seemed to be singing a different tune.


Borrowing from Dylan's epochal anthem "The Times They Are A-Changin'", the PM said:

  • "Come mothers and fathers/ Throughout the land/ And don't criticise/ What you can't understand/ Your sons and your daughters/
  • Are beyond your command/ Your old road is rapidly agin'/ Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand/ For the times they are a-changin'"

It's most definitely the season for change for India, considering we are scrounging for some each passing day as we part with our last ten or hundred rupee notes. And we are hoping Dylan's words stay with Modi as long he stays prime minister - for all Indians alike.

In these changing times, the PM reminded us: "Everything you want is a dream away." Yes. Even a 100-rupee note, Modiji.

Meanwhile, we have some song recommendations for our PM:

Twitter lost the PM at Dylan's quote: 


Last updated: November 21, 2016 | 00:20
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