Apropos your editorial “Power populism” (February 13), every type of subsidy is harmful for economy. The idea of a stimulus meant for all is only a mirage that temporarily satisfies the masses but results in higher taxes. Even robbing Peter to pay Paul as a mode of income redistribution only makes Paul lazy and Peter resentful. Tamil Nadu holds the dubious distinction when it comes to introducing novel freebies and subsidies. Who can forget the distribution of free colour television sets to beneficiaries identified by the ruling party functionaries when the entire state was reeling under power cuts? To outshine this madness, the Opposition party introduced free grinders, table fans, laptops and what not, when it returned to power, making the state the laughing stock of the world. As your editorial rightly points out, the resounding victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi elections is bound to result in competitive power populism in other states, especially those going to polls in the coming months, with economists wringing their hands in despair. Best wishes to India in becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2024.
V Jayaraman, Chennai
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