Farmer’s debt write-off while the state ranks second in farm debt trap!

The DMK had formed the government and in a show-off, the CM wrote off the farm debts, Rs 2 a kg of rice ..This is just a show-off, a cynical act to mislead everybody.

The state is second in rank in percentage growth in farm debt, next to AP. This is from a survey by the Union agri ministry itself. What about farm debts from PSU banks and other sources? Who cares? The free colour TVs and free 2 acres of land is held up. Why? The cunning politicians know this cant be done so easily. TN may be an advanced state in some  growth parameters. But in others, in political wakening or in much-professed rational thought or enlightenment, the state is a most superstitious and backward state.   How long this govt. would last? Till the next General Elections, just 3 years away?

This verdict gives the DMK a jolt. The DMK’s hold is slipping. Then, there is the change in socio-economic profile of the voters. In Chennai, the traditional stronghold of the DMK, it had lost. In a sense ,decisively. This indicates the more urban voters are disenchanted with the style of politics indulged by the DMK. May be one indicator is that the style of governance of the ADMK is appreciated by the voters. Water supply is an example.

In districts like Coimbatore there is clearly disenchantment. Yes, the wider dispersal of opportunities, jobs and wealth earning is possible in industrialised district, so they have lost interest in the more-emotion stirring style of Dravidian political appeal.

Yes, there is also the too personalised politics of the DMK and the ADMK. The leadership is too personal, too whimsical and too dictatorial. The DMK could be slightly more hypocritic in claiming any internal democracy. This is a fiction. The ADMK outwardly also seems still an autocratic party.

So, people really want to see a change. Vijayakanth party’s good performance is an indicator.

Now for economics. The Dravidian parties never pretended to be economic experts. They are populists, first and last. In 1996,the revenue deficit raised from 2.94 per cent in 1996 to 26.95 per cent in  2001.So,Jayalaitha’s claim to have saved the economy of the state is very true. MK is known for his cynical playing up with the state’s finances. It is now a moot point whether he would now adhere to any fiscal prudence.

As for his election gimmicks, 2 kg rice for one rupee, free colour television, free 2 acres of land, he might start implementing  with a flourish, but as can be safely predicted all these would go off sometime  in the middle. After all, this government cannot be sure of its term. At any rate  within 3 years there would be a General Election and by the time one can’t predict what the DMK’s attitudes or more  seriously what would be the attitude of the allies, the Congress, the other TN parties. Surely, J will learn her lessons and she might go for new strategies. Vijayakanth too might make his own inroads.

So, the populism now relied on by the DMK might surely impact on the more lasting economic development parameters.
Yes, employment is a problem, more than 5 million people have registered with the employment agency. Unfortunately, in this din of populism and many false promises, there are the fundamental economic realities of which no one seems to be worried.

Now, is TN an advanced state, economically? No, not at all.

The World Bank places the state in the middle income states. So, there are other states, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and others where the economic indicators, be it per capita income or the rate of economic growth or the measurement of debts are all indicating the state to be in the middle category. Yes, in education and health it is 2nd. In agri detbs, the percentage of debt growth, TN is second, AP being first!. That is all.

TN doesn’t rate high  in any of the World Bank reports, be it governance norms, tackling corruption or e-governance. Karnataka and AP are more ahead of TN. Also, the transport corporations in the state are a dran. Unlike in KSRTC, which is making a profit of Rs.100 crore! Creating jobs in TN is again a cynical approach  of   creating more government employees, not through generating jobs in private sector or otherwise. After promoting OBCs, now the move will be to reward all lower castes and classes by direct cash payments. MK even calls himself a Communist!

So, we can’t expect anything positive on the development front, no investments in agri sector or rural industries or such “fancy schemes”

It is rightly said that Gujarat is number one on the industrial development front. But  the most condemned  on the social, communal front. Even genocide was laid at its door. The Congress there is equally blamed for its pathetic cynicism  culpability. Likewise, TN may be advanced on many fronts. But in corruption and mis-governance, personal autocratic master-slave political style and the corruption of morals, culture and literature and media! So too the TN Congress, by its fightless surrender to  such a dispensation might also would stand condemned. For not even taking up a token of development  agenda.
Of course, none of these arguments make any sense in the sort of populism that had been built up over the years. The polity is highly polarised, many parties, many caste-based mobilisation and in the absence of any planned development, and it is the classic fight between the haves and the have-nots. This fight would be fought  under different guises, and in this unstated “free market” economy, it is the rich will become richer, the poor, poorer.

As we can see the two antagonists  are pretty rich, each worth Rs.25 crore in black and white, one doesn’t know what the true figures are really, and who gains in this sort of outwardly populist and  otherwise, more corrupt and more illegal ways.

As for serious development issues, the DMK wont do much. It is one thing for a politician of 83 to play with the fate of the younger generation. By this sort of reckless cynicism, where Rs.6,000 odd crores is waived off, where is the vision for a future, for any sustainable development vision?

Of course the guilty parties are many. The allies in the state also the allies in Delhi.  There must surely be some corrective. The Planning Commission must vet the election promises of any party before an election. The Election Commission has now one more duty to vet the manifestos of the parties and ban the free offers if that in the opinion of the EC is crossing the prudence limits. The Supreme Court too might step in. Some PIL might challenges this sort of excessive populism, so that the party in power might be pressed to fulfill the promises in the first year in power.

In TN itself four in ten households don’t have power. To switch on the TV, if and when the DMK offers one!

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