How caste and currency notes have completely (and irretrievably) poisoned the pool in Karnataka politics

There once was a time when the people pooled in money—10 rupees and 20 rupees—to put up candidates they wanted to see represent them.

Today, voters expect parties and candidates to hand them money—500 rupees and 1,000 rupees and multiples thereof—if they want to vote for them.

The “Gandhi of Mandya”, as former Karnataka Assembly speaker Krishna is known, spent Rs 32,000 in his first election in 1985.

And won.

Last week, Krishna announced his retirement from active politics, bemoaning the obscene role of money in modern-day Karnataka politics.

Political parties, he says, have ruined India’s political system beyond redemption with their flagrant use of money and casteism.