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

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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