Are the people in Tamil Nadu more easily lured than others?

Four outrageous excuses people give for selling their vote
news TN 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 16:17

It’s raining cash in Tamil Nadu. At last count, the Election Commission had seized over Rs. 68 crore in Tamil Nadu alone – more than four times the amount intercepted in other poll-bound states. But why is the menace of cash for votes most acute in this southern state? Are the people in Tamil Nadu more easily lured than others?  Although there may be no quick and easy explanation, we did hear a few justifications for accepting cash at the time of elections. 

 “Oh! They are anyway corrupt” – People with this so-called excuse wear a mask of defeatism. They paint all politicians with the same brush by branding them as corrupt. Yes, Tamil Nadu has a few “scam tainted” politicians, but trading in your morals for black money is not the right answer.    

 “They loot us for five years. This is the time they give back to us” – It’s the opportunists who come up with this sort of justification, the ones who forget their morals in order to make a quick buck or two.  This sorry excuse not only reeks of opportunism but also entitlement.  But if you think about it long enough, is this all you deserve? There’s surely more to elections than a bundle or two.

 “Now that we have all basic necessities, it is OK to take money and vote for a new person” –Some say that Tamil Nadu’s freebie culture is not just a bribe ahead of elections but has made people lazy. Over the years political parties in the state have provided people with a range of freebies from TV sets to laptops and household appliances. So, what’s left really? “Might as well pocket the cash” is the basic argument.   Much like our earlier friends, these opportunists believe in having their cake and eating it too.

“Just take the cash and vote for whomever you want. Even if you don’t get it, some middleman will take it on your name” – Dear bribe-taker, it’s not just your attitude that is helpless but also your argument. Sadly, this flawed reasoning is in no way original and has also come from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in 2015.  And while we are all for freedom of choice, a bribe is a bribe. 

So, the next time you hear of one of these excuses remember that oft-repeated line – you get the leader you deserve. Or in Tamil star Kamal Haasan’s own words: “You will only get a thief as your leader.”


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