T N Ninan: A song for our times
In the style of Bob Dylan, let’s ask the questions for which the answers are “blowin’ in the wind”
T N Ninan | New Delhi May 30, 2014 Last Updated at 22:50 IST
In the style of Bob Dylan, let’s ask the questions for which the answers are “blowin’ in the wind”. For starters, how many seats must the Congress lose before it will hold a Gandhi to the fire? And how many Congressmen must let cannonballs fly before the crackdown on dissidence gets dire? And why is it cool for Rajiv to call the Planning Commission a “bunch of jokers” but a Congressman cannot say that of his son? And how many questions must go unanswered before Sonia answers just one? The answers, my friend, are blowin’ in the wind; the answers are blowin’ in the wind.
Yes, and how many crores must our Air India lose before a minister takes his head out of the sand? For that matter, how many dreary programmes must the people not watch on state TV before they’re forever banned? And how many years can other such white elephants exist before they’re washed to the sea? And how many public sector banks must give bad loans before they’re allowed to be free? Even more than before, my friend, the answers are blowin’ in the wind.
And how many TV moguls must get mauled before they realise they can’t sup with a bear and survive? And how many TV anchors will not say what the nation wants to know about their next job, until all the bees have left the hive? Yes, and how many times must the Ambanis buy the media before they realise that there is still more media around? Also, how many times will media magnates go behind bars before they see there’s no “Sahara” to be found? The answers, my friend, are very much blowin’ in the wind.
Yes, and how many times must an investor whose shares are in the dung look up to find an empty sky? And how many market savants will put out reports that are bunk, before they encash and fly? How many companies will hawk paper that is dud, before buyers understand that it is all crud? And how many ears must Sebi have before it can hear the retail investor’s cry? The answers, of course, are blowin’ in the wind, the answers are blowin’ in the wind.
Yes, and more than demolish the Congress, has Narendra Modi rescued the BJP from oblivion? But then, how many mediocre ministers must he pick before he sees what some others can see? That if his government is to perform, he will need gems from the same old bureaucracy? But then, how many roads must our new man walk down, before you can say he has found his men? The answers, my friend, are blowin’ in the wind.
And how many good men must leave the old firm before N R Narayana Murthy stops pretending that he just doesn’t see? And does Nandan Nilekani have the one unique identity, which can bring calm to this troubled sea? If turning back the clock fails, as it often does, will hard-earned reputations come crashing down? Then, will a company that once seemed evergreen start turning brown? The answers, unfortunately, are still blowin’ in the wind.
Finally, my friend, must more governments come and go before they accept that too many dreams of change have died? And how many ministers will offer instant solutions, without reading the report of the last Commission? As for the maths of mines minus forests, does it add to the GeeDeePee? Or will all the new beginnings lead us into the same old blind alley? Even those answers, my friend, are blowin’ in the wind.
PS: As Dylan knew, there are no answers. But it is important to ask the right questions.
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