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Modi invokes Bob Dylan at Coldplay event, says ‘times are a-changin’

Mumbai: With his government under Opposition attack over demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asserted he has public support for the “second cleanliness drive” which has been 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 said referring to the demonetisation decision of his government aimed at tackling black money, corruption and terror funding as he addressed the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai.

The Prime Minister was also apparently referring to the cross-border surgical strikes launched by the army after the Uri terror attack and a string of retaliatory action taken by it following ceasefire violations which have resulted in military casualties across the northern frontier.

Modi also mentioned about the success of the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign he had started to promote hygiene and cleanliness.

He quoted lines from Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan’s iconic “The times they are a-changin”, a song which had become emblematic of change, to make a veiled reference to the

political situation in the country in the backdrop of the demonetisation move.

“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 to thousands of people who had gathered for the event in suburban Bandra Kurla complex.

“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 Rehman,” Modi said.

“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 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'” Modi said, quoting Dylan’s famous lines from the song released in 1964.

“Elders must learn from these words of wisdom,” he said.

“We better get out of the way as indeed the times they are a changing,” added the Prime Minister.

“Artistes have often inspired generations. My dear young friends, I’m convinced we can and we will build a Swachh Bharat free of all forms of filth within one generation,” he said.

“You bring an energy and idealism that is unparallelled,” he said, adding, “you can be the change you want”.

At the outset, Modi said, “I know that I stand between you and Coldplay and so will make this brief.”

PTI