Imagine a state where people have little to do, except choose the political party that offers the largest number of things for free. You could call this Utopia, or you could call it Tamil Nadu.
Indeed, this is what the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam are trying to ensure. The range of freebies they have promised should power come their way stretches from water to kitchen appliances to laptops. Oh, and cows.
This list will only get longer with every election, as patriarchs and matriarchs think of innovative ways to bring the state’s children into the fold. Even better, the rice and the TV sets that propelled the DMK to power in 2006 will continue to be doled out. Once a freebie, always a freebie.
That this hurts incentives for production and consumption is a small matter. After all, in a state like Tamil Nadu, what else is the party for?