What is a Nobel after the Modi medal?

Now we know why Bob Dylan is not going to Stockholm...

By TT Bureau in Mumbai
  • Published 20.11.16


Bob Dylan, who has been chosen for the Nobel Prize for Literature this year but has said he would not attend the award ceremony in Stockholm because of  “pre-existing commitments”, is said to have written The Times They Are a-Changin’ in 1963 in the middle of the civil rights movement in the US.  Considered “the archetypal protest song”, it transcended the political preoccupations of the time in which it was written.
Less than a month after Dylan recorded the song, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The next night, Dylan opened a concert with The Times They Are a-Changin’. He told biographer Anthony Scaduto: “Something had just gone haywire in the country and they were applauding the song. And I couldn’t understand why they were clapping, or why I wrote the song. I couldn’t understand anything. For me, it was just insane.”
Referring to the incident, musician and writer Tony Attwood later wrote: “In a perverse way, (it) 
shows how a perception of a song can be influenced by those who proclaim they know its meaning, rather than by the guy who wrote it.”
The altered picture above originally showed US President Barack Obama conferring the Presidential 
Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, on Dylan in 2012

Mumbai, Nov. 19 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted he had public support for the "second cleanliness drive" launched against black money.

"These days, whether it is the cleaning across the border or of the vaults full of black money, everything is going on in full swing. I am getting your invaluable support for the second cleanliness drive," Modi told the Global Citizen Festival here, where Coldplay performed.

He quoted lines from Bob Dylan's The Times They Are a-Changin' to make a veiled reference to the political situation in the country against the backdrop of the demonetisation drive.

"Back in 2014, I had enjoyed attending the Global Citizen Festival in the beautiful Central Park of New York. However, this time, my schedule did not permit me to come in person," Modi said in a video address beamed to the suburban Bandra Kurla complex in Mumbai.

"I have had my own set of idols. But you will be perhaps more familiar with Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Chris Martin and A.R. Rahman," Modi said.

He added: "So to quote from one of Dylan's transformative anthems which holds as much meaning today as it did when it was first sung in the 1960s.

"' Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
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.'"

"Elders must learn from these words of wisdom. We better get out of the way as indeed the times they are a changing," the Prime Minister said.

"Artistes have often inspired generations. My dear young friends, I'm convinced we can and we will build a Swachh Bharat (Clean India) free of all forms of filth within one generation," he said.

"You bring an energy and idealism that is unparalleled," he said. "You can be the change you want."