Freebies ultimately burden people

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So far, the political parties did politics for themselves, now politics will be for the development of the country was what the BJP had said when they came to power in 2014

So far, the political parties did politics for themselves, now politics will be for the development of the country was what the BJP had said when they came to power in 2014. But it appears political parties will remain what they are and will never change.

If one looks at the way the political parties have been trying to win elections or by-elections, one does not find any change for the better. All including the saffron party compete with one another in announcing freebies. The BJP had criticised the Congress in the past that for the sake of votes, it was appeasing different communities and sections with freebies. Ahead of the Huzurabad bypoll, when the TRS government launched the Dalit Bandhu scheme, all parties including the BJP and the Congress alleged that the ruling party was trying to woo the Dalits and that it was indulging in caste- based politics. But on the concluding day of the first phase of his padayatra, BJP state president followed the same route. He announced that whoever may become the BJP CM in the State, the first signature would be on free education and health.

Well, health and education are part of sound economics if the benefits are extended to the entire society. But before that what the political parties forget is that merely making such announcements does not help in the long run. Whichever party may be in power at Center or in States, they should first make a scientific study on infrastructure facilities, availability and quality of faculty and plan strategies to improve things. The promise of free education or healthcare should be made only after that.

Nothing happens by passing a GO and saying that they have fulfilled the promise. We are seeing how bad the situation is in government hospitals. Most of the PHCs don't have doctors or necessary para medical staff. The situation in schools is no different. Just giving a fresh coat of paint to buildings and providing furniture or distributing school kits with the pictures of Chief Ministers does not really help in improving the quality of education. Good faculty who are not burdened with other government activities as well as policies aimed at fostering good student-teacher relationship are the need of the hour.

It is unfortunate that the political parties are going on adding freebies without realising that it amounts to cheating the public as there is no such thing as a freebie in economics. Ultimately, it is the tax-paying citizen and sometimes even the non-tax paying weaker sections who pay for the free gifts as governments collect taxes on everything except the air. All governments want to rob the people, but no one shows any willingness to reduce taxes on goods like petrol or diesel even by one per cent. The schemes the governments announce should be such that they do not lead to extra taxes on individuals and lead to budget deficit.

Allurement should not be the only strategy to win the elections. Another new dimension added over the last one decade to the poll campaign is speeches laced with foul language. It has become a fashion to use such language and the worst part is it is inviting whistles and claps from party activists. Perhaps, it is time for another movement, 'Desh Bachao.'

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