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January 2019


FREEBIES can enable politicians to win elections. But they will make them lose a nation. If the politics of loan waivers, higher minimum support prices for foodgrains, and unemployment dole (read MGNREGA) for rural folks continue, there will non-engineered strife in the country. Freebies may work for a time – they have worked for seven decades now – but in the end they will invariably lead to socio-economic disasters. The levels of violence, anger, frustration and crime are already high. The country will be paralysed as its citizens shed blood. Hence, this may be the time to take governance action in a bid to save a country.

Yet again, there is a wave of farmers’ loan waivers, and direct cash incentives for farmers. Telengana, for instance, doles out Rs 4,000 an acre per season, or Rs 8,000 a year, to land-owning farmers. Over the decades, several political regimes have waived off the loans of the farmers, one after another after making such promises in their election manifestos. This has given a fillip to the process and defined it as a successful election strategy.