The culture of offering a slew of freebies, recent on the Tamil Nadu political scene, is meant to woo voters of all hues. But the culture is here to stay, setting a bad example to political parties across India. The priorities of parties wanting to come to power should be education for all, food for all, employment for all and health for all. This can become possible only if the government invests money on long-term schemes and constructive and productive projects. Diverting money on freebies will only make more people idle and dependent on the government for everything. People should not be given fish; they should be taught how to catch fish.
We cannot put an end to the freebie culture because many people, rich or poor, are easily lured by the tempting election promises. Political parties should voluntarily discard the practice and ask for votes on the basis of their performance and assurance of good governance.
The announcement of freebies by the leading political parties of Tamil Nadu is unfortunate. Even the electorate seems to be interested in just the freebies, not good governance. It is also sad that none of the political parties has made any significant announcement towards improving the quality of people's lives by promising uninterrupted power supply, pure drinking water, better health care, etc. If political parties want to offer freebies, let them do so from their funds, not from the hard earned money of the taxpayers.
Looking at what the AIADMK and the DMK have promised in their election manifestos, one wonders from where they propose to get the money to distribute the freebies if elected to power.
The public distribution system is meant for issuing essential commodities like food grains, cereals, cooking oil, kerosene, etc., to the needy through fair price shops. But the two major parties in Tamil Nadu have announced the distribution of consumer durables to all those having ration cards. Whether the items are essential for each household does not seem to matter. If mixies, grinders and fans are essential items, I feel that, at the moment, an inverter is even more essential in view of the power cuts in the State. Any takers?
The promise of medical assistance and free education for all is welcome. But the promise of things which are of no real value is unfortunate. According to media reports, Tamil Nadu is already short of funds and the government has a huge loan to repay. From where are we going to find the funds for the freebies?