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Knocking on Dylan’s door

When the Chief Justice of the United States quotes a Bob Dylan song, you know that the real counter-counter-revolution has begun.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2008 22:36 IST

When the Chief Justice of the United States quotes a Bob Dylan song, you know that the real counter-counter-revolution has begun. In a dispute between pay phone companies and long-distance carriers, John G. Roberts Jr, pickled his statement with a line from Dylan’s nugget Like A Rolling Stone: “When you got nothing/You got nothing to lose”. Considering that Chief Justice Roberts was born in 1955, and that he was ten years old when Dylan came out with the album, Highway 61 Revisited, from which he quotes, is it that much of a surprise? Not really.



Dylan, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has been ripe to be part of the ‘canon’ for a while now. The real question that we ask is whether India’s Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, who is four years younger than Dylan, can outdo his American counterpart by having a pop cultural line — “

Eena meena deeka/Dai dama dika

”? — to pepper up the boring bits he has to deal with.



In fact, we would encourage something more. Without giving up on the usual Gandhiji, Panditji and Sanskrit verses, our politicians could easily perk up our ears with some more ‘modern’ lines. A line to assuage fears of inflation, for instance? How about, “Kal kya hoga kisko pata/ Abhi zindagi ka/le lo mazaa.” Mr Chidambaram?


Mr Singh? Mr Reddy?

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