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TN, The Welfare State!


Few days back someone had casually mentioned that private bus operators in TN had paid a sum of Rs. 25 Lakhs (INR 2.5 Million) each as individual contribution to the ruling party AIADMK, with a request for Bus fare hike across the State. I did not give much importance then to this unconfirmed and unverified information during a casual conversation. Only when I saw this small news item at Page 9 of The Hindu dated 2nd December, it reminded me of this conversation last week.
Busfare hiked to favour private operators: Stalin
Equipped with this unconfirmed and unverifiable piece of inside information, suddenly I found myself in a much better position to “understand” the below comment made by Mr. Stalin in this news item:
The secret behind such a steep increase in bus fare will come out soon.”
Surely he knows better the reasons and the background to all decisions such as Bus fare hike and the kind of motivation that prompts them – to be more direct and precise, “been there, done that”!
But this is just a piece of co-incidence and trivia that I share here. 
What took me by complete surprise in this article is the below quote from the ever-so-young Octogenarian Mr. M. Karunanidhi himself. Here is the excerpt, emphasis is mine:
Even government officials, citing the huge loss incurred by the State Transport Corporation, had sought a hike. But, Mr. Karunanidhi said that he was not bothered about the corporations' loss.
The corporations were introduced for the benefit of the people. I will not burden the people,” he had said.
Now just to clarify that this statement was not in the context of raising Corporation tax or any other Taxes; but in direct response to Bus fare hike requested by the State Transport Corporations. Either this kind of statement would pass as “smart politics” to please the masses of a Welfare State, or it shows complete bankruptcy of common-sense among the leaders of this country.

Pity that the masses, including the educated and employed, get carried away by such irresponsible statements made by the leaders of the status of a Chief Minister. This statement should have been shot down and questioned, seeking clarifications. Corporations are run on the tax-payers' money and public servants running these corporations, taking directions from such irresponsible politicians, have no authority to let the public corporations bleed, just to satisfy someone's political gains and objectives.

But the problem here is not the politicians alone. The very fact that they get away with such remarks and statements and we, the people, admire and listen to their speeches shows that we are all a part of this rotten system, together. Even worse are these "private" bus operators, if indeed they have voluntarily contributed to this corrupt practice. In which case, they are not private businesses but the extended arm of collection-agents and rent-seekers of the political parties in power.

As common people, it is very important to educate ourselves on the finer aspects of a Welfare State and clearly understand that there is no such thing as free lunch. I conclude here quoting these lines from a very nice article by V. Anantha Nageswaran, explaining in very simple language, the functioning of a welfare state and how it ruins the Economy and Society at large:
The rupee, a mirror for India
When governments at the Centre and in the states promise to offer everything free to the citizens of India, someone has to pay. ...
Either it taxes people to a greater extent or it asks the Reserve Bank of India to print more rupees and lend those rupees to the government. This government is doing both. The former discourages economic activity and the latter leads to inflation. So, inflation arises due to governments promising to offer everything free to the people because such an approach raises demand, and kills incentives to work and produce. This is not economics. It is common sense. ...

Comments

  1. sir, well written. Hike in bus fare is unavoidable, which they were avoiding for political reasons, only JAY has the courage to take brave decisions.
    BOTH DMK AND ADMK ruined the state by giving away freebies, results in these hikes !
    http://deepakkarthikspeaks.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. The problem is that these bastards still win...In UP elections around transfers of Primary teachers are being done en mass at rs. 50000/- per candidate. Need for election fund. Man it stinks how long we shall tolerate them?

    ReplyDelete
  3. A state for the welfare of politicians, a true mirror should be how many people die of hunger and malnutrition very day. Nicely researched article.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, DeEpAK. Both TN political parties have been equally notorious in giving away freebies for political gains. TN Voter size now exceeds 5 Crores and must ask for better governance and infrastructure.

    ReplyDelete

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