A man in Tamil Nadu turns to the bizarre to highlight the pointlessness of poll freebies
Saravanan hopes that voters in the state realise poll promises have to be realistic, and focus on the fact their representative should deliver governance more than white goods.
What would you have your elected representative deliver? Good roads? Functioning, well-equipped schools? If poll promises are any indicator, many would settle for laptops (Uttar Pradesh), even mixer-grinders and colour TVs (Tamil Nadu). But one candidate in the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls—of course, independent—is promising a ride to the Moon, a chopper and an iPhone. Thulam Saravanan’s ability to deliver, though, is questionable (to put it mildly). He says he lives with his poor, elderly parents and has borrowed `20,000 to file his nomination as a candidate contesting for the Madurai South seat. Outlandish his promises certainly are, but it is precisely the impossibility of redemption that he wants people to focus on. His mind is in the right place; he hopes that he would be able to highlight the pointlessness of freebies through this stunt, in a state where announcing election freebies is a competitive sport parties play.
Saravanan hopes that voters in the state realise poll promises have to be realistic, and focus on the fact their representative should deliver governance more than white goods. “I want them to choose good candidates who are ordinary, humble people,” he says. While the ruling AIADMK has promised free washing machines and six free LPG cylinders to every family, rival DMK has talked of fuel-price cuts and tablets with internet connection apart from waiver of student loans. Saravanan, meanwhile, has chosen a trash-can as his election symbol. If you vote for freebies, your vote might as well be garbage, seems to be his message.