A COUPLE OF years ago, Manikam Ramaswami, Managing Director, Loyal Textiles, waxed eloquent over the benefits of the freebie profligacy of Jayalalithaa. He pointed to the sizeable savings in exertion by women thanks to the government supplying free fans, mixies and grinders: “this saves time for women which, in turn, improves their living standards,” he said. He went one step further advocating the government to provide refrigerators free!
In 2016, the AIADMK poll manifesto promised a lot more freebies. After Team Sasikala faction established its majority in the state assembly, on the first day in office after winning the trust vote, Chief Minister Palanisamy announced a series of welfare measures that included a 50 per cent subsidy to a ceiling of Rs. 20,000 for buying a two-wheeler for 100,000 working women during 2017-18. Ramaswami may have to wait for some more time before his counsel reaches Sasikala.
Cousin T Kannan has a contrarian view. Recently, he expressed concerns over the freebie culture that makes the youth lazy. He pointed to employees not sticking to jobs even for a couple of years due to the government providing so many things free. The cousins should also consult another Karumuttu scion, M Thiagarajan whose Paramount Airways had a meteoric take off and an equally meteoric fall. Perhaps he would commend subsidised airfare to Madurai in business class.