How Government Freebies Are Destroying Our Society – You Won’t Believe the Impact!

“While this program may provide assistance to numerous disadvantaged women, it inadvertently reinforces the stereotype that daughters are a financial burden on families. This notion of ‘bete ki padhai, beti ki shaadi’ (son’s education and daughter’s marriage) is prevalent in everyday language, media, and advertisements.

Certainly, this stereotype is rooted in a troubling reality, and that reality is deeply concerning. The government should strive to change this distressing reality, or at the very least, avoid perpetuating the stereotype. However, political propriety, much like wisdom, is often a responsibility that our politicians are hesitant to embrace.

Before the Uttarakhand Assembly election last year, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal pledged a ‘Tirth Yatra Yojana’ if his party emerged victorious in the Himalayan state. A similar scheme already exists in the national capital. He announced, ‘We will facilitate free visits to Lord Ram in Ayodhya for Hindus. Muslims will have the provision of a free tour to Ajmer Sharif, and Sikhs to Kartarpur Sahib.’

While providing free or subsidized food and healthcare, especially in a developing nation, can be justified to some extent, subsidies for luxury items such as color television sets, mixers and grinders, free public transportation for women, and free electricity for any demographic lack a reasonable basis. Furthermore, government-sponsored pilgrimages cannot be justified in a secular country by any stretch of the imagination.

It is fundamental to recognize that nothing is truly free in the world; when different segments of society receive something without direct payment, it ultimately comes at the expense of taxpayers. Increased taxation, in general, has a detrimental impact on the overall economy.

However, these freebies not only strain fiscal resources and hinder economic development but also have a negative influence on social and cultural values. For instance, consider the perspective of Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1824-83), the founder of Arya Samaj, who vehemently criticized superstitions, excessive rituals, and pilgrimages that have plagued Hindu society for centuries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi rightly commended him for these efforts. Subsidized pilgrimages contradict the principles upheld by Swami Dayananda Saraswati and other influential socio-religious reformers.

Furthermore, excessive and irrational welfare programs have implications for individual freedoms, civil liberties, and democratic rights. As former American President Gerald R. Ford once said, ‘A government large enough to give you everything you want is a government powerful enough to take away everything you have.’

Yet, the allure of populism and freebies is so captivating that no Indian political party or leader seems willing to examine the damage these measures are inflicting on the economy, society, and culture. This is indeed a disheartening state of affairs.”

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