As political campaigning heats in legislative elections across five Indian states, one candidate is hogging headlines for his absurdist take on the culture of campaign freebies is Thulam Saravanan. He is a 33-year-old former journalist and an independent candidate from the Madurai South constituency who has taken the promises to another level. He is contesting on the symbol of a dustbin, with the caption “The symbol of Honesty.” He chose the dustbin as his party symbol which clearly depicts the reality, i.e. dirty political system, and his intention on cleaning up the mess in Madurai, both literally and metaphorically.
In a chaotic election season in India, Thulam Saravanan’s manifesto of wild promises is going viral. This leader is planning to provide a mini-helicopter, Rs 1 crore to every household, a robot for homemakers to do household work, and 100 sovereigns of gold for women when they get married. Also, a car worth Rs 20 lakh for every household, Rs 10 lakh per month for differently-abled people, a 100-day trip to the moon, a 300-foot artificial iceberg to keep the residents of the constituency cool, a space research center, and a rocket launch pad. According to Saravanan’s affidavit, he has Rs10,000 in hand. While his bank balance is Rs2000. However, Sarvanam clarified the rationale behind making such bizarre premises. That he has made to create awareness amongst the people of Tamil Nadu. Further, he wanted to call out the behavior of political parties who lure voters with meals and entertainment at campaign events. In one interview, Saravanan said that people should come out of the freebie culture and introspect on what the political parties have done to improve their living conditions. Saravana has been a journalist for five years but has said he wants to pursue politics from now and if he wins the election, he promises to get the basics done.