Yashwant Sinha versus his son Jayant Sinha, as an exercise in English grammar


Former finance minister and superannuated BJP marg darshak Yashwant Sinha tore into the Narendra Modi government’s handling of the economy on the pages of the Indian Express last Wednesday.

A day later, The Times of India opened its pages to allow his son Jayant Sinha, a serving member in the Modi ministry, to vainly try to rebut his father on behalf of an extremely image-conscious government.

The economist Ashok V. Desai writes in The Telegraph on the father-son face-off:

“The difference in the dominant tense is noticeable: Sinha Senior mostly uses present perfect (‘x has happened’), whereas Sinha Junior uses the future (‘y will happen’) a lot.

“In other words, Junior is not narrating his government’s achievements, but hopes of achievement.

“That suggests a paucity of achievements, which would support Senior’s case.

“Lack of achievement is understandable; things take time to achieve in government. But what will happen may not happen; an appeal to a bright future requires the listener to share Junior’s optimism….

“Hence it is best not to think about our political condition, and instead, to live in a world of imagination.

“Some would call it make- believe. In other words, Sinha Junior has one imaginary world to cheer himself up with; Sinha Senior has none.

“These are not the only choices; it is also possible to create other makebelieve scenarios that crowd out the depressing economy altogether. We have hundreds of television channels; less than 10 per cent of them serve out politics. We can keep watching the other 90 per cent. Unless we become victims of a sordid scenario ourselves. Even if we do, there will always be hope.”

Read the full article: The Sinhamatic sensation

Image: courtesy Dainik Bhaskar