“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’.”

— Bob Dylan

Many will be familiar with these lyrics from the popular Bob Dylan song, without the slight modification. But when Prime Minister Narendra Modi recites them in full before a Coldplay concert in Mumbai on Saturday, the stage is set for a slightly strange and surreal evening.

Addressing a crowd of 80,000 via video conference, Modi not only quoted the Nobel Laureate, because he – along with Norah Jones, Chris Martin and AR Rahman are heroes of the youth – but also poked fun at his own singing, linking it to demonetisation.

“You have been smart in asking me to only address the gathering, and not sing,” he said. “Else, I am pretty sure your audience would be asking you for their money back. And that too in 100 rupee notes.”

He went on to extol the virtues of youth. “I always look forward to being among young people. It refreshes and re-energises me. You bring an energy that is unparalleled,” Modi said, and concluded with great hope, “We are diamonds taking shape.”

On Twitter, the opposition resorted to poor puns to express displeasure.

The rest made their own jokes.