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IMPACT OF FREEBIES IN ELECTIONS

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Following are few random thoughts to be edited later.

Few days back I thought over this topic when asked by a friend and did a study on various reports by leading news agencies. I felt it’s quite a social issue which further provoked me think and write more on this to generate awareness among people.
Let’s have a look at few excerpts from news articles first as follows.

” In India, the culture of promising freebies in election manifesto has been spreading extensively. The ethicality and legality of such promises has been the subject of debate for a while now. This issue was brought to the forefront when the issue was tackled by the Supreme Court.”

In the above case, the Court delved into the legality of promising freebies in election manifestos. The Court opined that freebies shook the ‘root of free and fair elections to a large degree.’ However, the distribution of colour TVs, laptops, mixer-grinders etc. by the government in accordance with the laws currently prevalent in the country cannot be ruled as being against ‘public purpose’. The Supreme Court ruled that promises made in an election manifesto cannot be construed as a ‘corrupt practice’ under section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. And since no legislation governs election manifestos, it directed the EC to frame appropriate guidelines.

Distribution of freebies in any form is not prohibited by any law in force in India. The Courts have already held that handing out of freebies is not a corrupt practice. In fact, since the goal of our constitution-makers was to build a welfare state, it is the responsibility of political parties to further that cause. Generally, political parties, especially the national parties, release their election manifestos before the Election Commission announces the date of elections. The Election Commission’s guidelines kick in only after the dates have been announced, and in this instance the Election Commission will have no authority to monitor the promises made in the Election Manifesto.

When political parties promise certain freebies, the intention is not for these promises to act as bribes or as a means of exercising undue influence on voters. It is just a statement to the people highlighting how if brought to power, that party will serve its voters. Thus, framing of manifestos is the right of political parties, and must not be interfered with. ”

How do you feel after reading the above? Let me write here what I feel as I understand the mindset of our people.

In reality and my view it’s an utter corrupt practice considering the level of mass education in India and the standard of living where a large part of the population still struggling to earn daily bread and butter.
Anything coming free is like God gift for them and they can go to any extent to get that which really doesn’t come from their hard earning effort. This really don’t improve their standard of living or earning capacity in long run. Rather they suffer out of it.
Promising freebies before or after elections must be prohibited under law strictly.  We must educate people help themselves and not to find ways to gets things free.
It’s really ridiculous how the apex court feels about the rights of political parties what they do in election propaganda. Promising to distribute freebies is indirectly influencing the common mass to buy votes. It’s well understood though they don’t say that.

Rather they should make promise for social development projects on a time bound manner which is quite acceptable and not freebies.
An example of promise could be we will construct foot over bridge or road within a year after we come to power. We are looking for employment opportunities and few eligible people in your area may get good work in those projects.

An example of promise could be we will construct foot over bridge or road within a year after we come to power. We are looking for employment opportunities and few eligible people in your area may get good work in those projects.

These kind of step will develop more credibility among people and it’s motivational too for them. They will start looking at their inner capability and view things differently.

Distribution of colour TVs and mobiles for free will make them corrupt for sure as it strikes hard the mindset of people getting things for free that never changes.

We all have the responsibility to play our role in nation building activities. We can’t do well unless we  I are well informed and do critical analysis of all coming  our way. It’s time to educate ourselves and act against all such false promises. Let’s reject all that comes free…

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Author: DEBASIS NAYAK

A natural leader who experiments a lot and cares for all ! The title of my blog is not about my blood group. It's a message to all my readers to think positive and comment on my posts open & kindheartedly !!

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