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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 May, 2004, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
'If I were prime minister...'
As the world's largest democracy holds elections, BBC News Online asks people on the streets of India what they would do if they were prime minister. And keep sending us your views.

Raminder Singh, railway station porter, Delhi

If I were the prime minister, I would increase the charges of porters and make railway and bus stations cleaner. I would work for the poor and create more job opportunities for the millions who are fighting to survive.

As prime minister, I would make death the punishment for corruption. I would also try to construct houses for those who were homeless.

I would also abolish begging on the streets. But most importantly, I would try to root out corruption, as it is proving to be dangerous for the nation.

Kuljit Singh, poppodam seller, Amritsar

Who would ever let me become prime minister? The people sitting at the top would never let a commoner like me become a prime minister!
Kuljit Singh, from Pappadwala

But let us suppose for a moment that I am elected prime minister - I would change the very face of this country. Just how I will achieve this will be rather simple. You see all our leaders today are completely corrupt. I am not connected with any particular party and I have never cast my vote

Millions of extremely poor people do not even have enough to eat. They need food. Those who have something to eat, do not have anything to shelter themselves under. They need houses. These will be my priorities.

Sandeep Kalia, chef, Jodhpur

The first thing I would do is make strict rules to maintain the heritage status of historic Indian cities like Jodhpur. Tourists are drawn to India because of the legacy left behind by our ancestors and it is our duty to preserve it.

Sandeep Kalia, executive chef, Taj Hari Mahal, Jodhpur
Next on my agenda would be to pass a law which would set a retirement age for politicians - I don't see any reason why we should be governed by a 70-plus clique. Also, politicians need to be taught how to behave and so I would set up a code of conduct for them.

Illiteracy is one of the biggest ills affecting this country and it needs to be tackled on a war-footing.

I firmly believe that with good education the problem of unemployment would be solved to a large extent and that in effect would eradicate poverty.

Samson Joy, student, Kasaragod, Kerala

If I become the prime minister I will tackle the growing religious divide in this country.

Samson Joy, student, Kerala
This is a very religious country but politicians often misuse religion for their ends. They try and drive wedges between communities - this is wrong.

Because of this we have religious problems such as riots, attacks and tension between religious communities. This is a multi-religious country and everyone should live together in peace and be able to practice their faith.

I will try and teach Indians to understand each other by promoting education. I will also be very hard on people who promote disharmony and ill-feeling between communities. It is a dangerous practice and must stop.

Rajesh Kumar, cigarette vendor, Delhi

The first thing I would do would be to stop policemen taking money from us forcibly on a regular basis.

Rajesh Kumar, cigarette shop owner in Delhi
I would certainly impose the death penalty for those indulging in corruption in any government department and that is the best way to uproot this menace from our country.

I would not permit beacon lights on official cars except the president's. These lights reflect the division in our society.

I would get houses constructed and give them to the homeless who live on streets and pavements, for free. They are part of the section of the society whom the politicians woo just before the elections and leave them to rot after they win.

I would also create more employment opportunities. People here take to crime only because they do not have anything worthwhile to do.

Nagarani, 27, software engineer, Hyderabad

My first goal as prime minister would be to evolve a common education system for all Indian states.

Nagarani, 27, software engineer, Hyderabad

At the moment, there is tremendous disparity between various states and their education standards. I would also like to substantially increase the budget for education, particularly primary education. If we remove illiteracy, India can achieve most of its goals.

I would work towards a more equitable distribution of resources and wealth. At the moment, the cities draw most of our attention and capital. But most Indians live in villages and unless we address their concerns, all talk about India as an economic superpower will be meaningless.

I would also like to make politicians a lot more accountable. Corruption is the root cause of lack of development and I would try and make our government a lot more transparent.

Debjani Misra, social worker, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa

Debjani Misra, social worker, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa

I shall work towards the empowerment of women. I shall bring in tough laws to protect women who are poor. I shall work towards child development and enforce harsh punishment for those who employ children as labourers. In a country where the rate of illiteracy is still high, I shall try to check school drop-outs and make education free for all till university level.

I shall create new employment opportunities and also work towards alleviating poverty in the country. I know it cannot be achieved overnight, but sustained efforts towards this will surely prove fruitful within a certain period.

I shall also enforce ban on smoking, tobacco products and liquor throughout the country. All these vices are proving dangerous to the future of our country.

I shall also try and enact tough laws to check corruption in bureaucracy which have squandered enough public money so far.

I shall also make people in power accountable to the public wherein the elected representatives will have to show results during their tenure. They have to take concrete steps to improve living conditions of the people. If they don't, then I shall bring in a law barring them from contesting in forthcoming elections.

Arunagiri Janakiraman, 31, scrap vendor, Bangalore

I would first try to resolve the longstanding Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Everybody should get water. We all live in one country but always fight for water.

This problem could be solved by bringing the people of both states together. It would be one of my main priorities.

I would also provide houses for all homeless people and jobs for the unemployed, especially youths. There is no better feeling than getting a job.

I would ask the police to ensure communal peace. People should live like brothers and sisters and there should not be any discrimination on caste.

S Bhanumathy Iyer, 45, cook, Madras

I find essential commodities too costly. If I became leader, I would strive to make foodstuff and vegetables more affordable.

S Bhanumathy Iyer, a cook in Madras

Most women who run households understand the importance of feeding a family. Men may earn but they don't quite realise the importance of foodstuff.

We also need parity of wages between men and women in India.

We need water for all - it is the most important life source. In a city like Madras, all our mornings are spent fighting with neighbours over water.

Prices, equal wages and clean water for all - these are the things I would do if I became prime minister.

Giridhar Lal Meena, 57, farmer, Rajasthan

Giridhar Lal Meena

I know I have no chance of ever becoming prime minister of this country. No one would vote for someone who is a tribal.

All our rulers have always been rich and powerful and upper caste Hindu.

But if I do ever make it to the post, I'll first take care of my family. We'll move into a larger house and then I'll take steps to improve the lot of our community and all the tribals of India.

Every law in this land is designed to push us out of existence. We need to change that.

Sheena Bhalla, student, Delhi

Sheena Bhalla, college student
If I were the prime minister of India, I would stop talking about corruption in politics and introduce minimum educational qualifications for contesting or entering politics.

Our leaders, who are supposed to be our representatives and role models, cannot eradicate illiteracy - one of India's greatest social evils - without being literate themselves.

I do not believe that leaders have to be engineers or doctors, but I do believe that a certain amount of education is necessary for any leader to give his best to his country.

On the other hand, I would also want to increase the government funding for higher education. At least 10% of the annual Gross Domestic Product should be used to provide better institutions for higher education in India.

Jayesh Kanji Patel, 40, fisherman, Gujarat

Jayesh Kanji Patel, 40, fisherman
If I became prime minister I would build roads connecting all of India's villages.

That's where most Indians live and that would be my focus.

I would also concentrate on building proper houses for all the poor people in this country - not mud houses but ones made of brick and concrete.

But most of all, I would work to free all the poor fishermen who are stuck in jail in Pakistan. Every month so many fishermen get caught when they inadvertently stray into Pakistani waters.

I'd work with Pakistan to try and ensure we don't have such a situation. There has got to be a way and I will find it.

Nisha Bagale, 58, lawyer, Nagpur

If I became prime minister, I would change the whole country and remove corruption.

Nisha Bagale

I would look after the low caste, backward and the uneducated people of the country. I would make them all educated. I would help the people of India who live in rural areas.

I would give employment to the unemployed. I would give education to all. I would help the poor.

No one looks after the poor in this country. Nothing has changed for them since independence.

Suhas Prabhu, 35, businessman, Bombay

Suhas Prabhu

First thing I would do is change the infrastructure.

It's pathetic. I drive to work everyday, the roads are pathetic, there are traffic problems and it's all linked to corruption.

The major problem that India faces today is corruption. You have to pay money for everything. We are responsible for corruption because we give them money.

For instance if I am stopped at the traffic signal, instead of giving my driving license to the policeman I would prefer to bribe him. But today I have stopped doing that.

So the first thing as individuals we need to do is stop bribing these men because we are to blame for giving corruption a lead. And if the level of corruption lessened, our society would drastically improve.

To counter corruption, I would put systems in place. We need system checks. I would look at the grassroots level, fight corruption there.

Also I would try to better the standard of living of the people so then they would not need to take bribes or beg for livelihood. This in turn would defeat corruption.

Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan, 48, Maliabad

If I got the opportunity to become India's leader, I would work towards improving the lot of the millions in our country who do not have a roof over their heads and enough to eat.

Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan

A recent survey showed that nearly 40% of Indians can only eat one meal a day. I would use all my energies to redress this appalling situation.

There is too much disparity between the rich and the poor in this country.

I would do this fearlessly, without worrying about whether I would be re-elected once my five-year term ends.

Many of our present politicians spend too much time engaging in theatrics without doing anything substantial.

I would also work to maintain peace between Hindus and Muslims. We have so much in common, have lived together all this years only to find some unscrupulous politicians dividing us. It needs to be brought to an end.

All Indians should be equal and allowed to live together in dignity.

Vineeta Mirdha, 21, maid, Delhi

Vineeta Mirdha

It is laughable to even think what I would do for India if I were in charge of the country.

But, for starters, I would have tried to restore some peace and amity within the country.

I grew up amidst a lot of violence and killings, mostly between fiercely antagonistic rival political parties back home [in West Bengal].

I fail to understand why political rivalry has to descend to such levels.

My first priority would to make my home - and our villages - peaceful, by ensuring an end to political clashes by pulling them up and ensuring that they abide by the law of the land.

Then all of us in villages can live in peace.

I do not like poverty. I hate it. I want to become rich. I want to earn pots of money and spend it.

If I were to take charge of the country, I would like to find out how to make people like us richer.

As it stands now, I think I will remain poor all my life. There is no road to riches in sight.

I would push for the creation of more jobs. Otherwise, we have to keep migrating like nomads in search of jobs.

Narsimhan, 22, business student, Lucknow

First of all, I would like to resolve the primary issue of India-Pakistan relations.

We need to have more interaction with our neighbours which we do not have at the moment. Each of us stick to our own stances without yielding to the other.

We need to find a common forum, if necessary with the help of a third party, where we can discuss our issues.

We need to sit together and resolve our differences, otherwise the problems between us will continue for another 50 or 100 years. It may not be easy but we have to do it.

I would also like to keep government out of higher education.

Our professional institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Management where I study, need to be allowed to make their own decisions on how to manage their money and resources.

Finally, I would like to address the issue of getting rid of poverty and bringing India to the level of other developed nations as soon as possible.

What would you do if you were prime minister of India?

Send your ideas using the form below this selection of comments- no more than 150 words please. If you've access to a digital camera, why not include a picture of yourself? Here are some views we have already received.

I would bring in a women's rights bill giving women a 30% share of power. Minimum education standards would be introduced. All the major rivers would be linked, irrespective of the costs and political pressure as the benefits would be enormous. I would set up a panel to look into using alternative energy sources such as solar and wind. Elderly people would be protected in a social security network. People who are involved in child begging rackets would be severely punished.
Kumaran, London, UK

I would abolish all reservations based on caste in India. Most of the upper middle class who can afford education have become used to these reservations in jobs, studies, loans etc. I would start reservations based on economic background and income level, ensuring tribal and village populations are most benefited. Corruption is the most important cause of all the evils in India. I would try to get rid of this evil. I would first separate administrative, judicial and police services from the power of the politicians.
Suchi, USA

Eliminate the states. Divide India into four zones. Make military training compulsory for all able-bodied people between the ages of 18 and 35. Change the political system to a two-party system with the prime minister elected in a national referendum. Put the highest priority on conserving water and managing natural resources as if on a war footing. If we can do these things we should began to see immediate results.
Ramesh, USA

Our opportunity is the strength of our broad-minded educated, and energetic youth. More than 40% of the population is under age of 25 and well educated. If I were the PM of India, I would make sure that the youth of the country is well-represented in all forms of decision making to improve India's economic situation. The youth hates the caste system, corruption and all the ills that this nation has. They possess modern thoughts based on education. With the economy improving, India would be a global powerhouse to reckon with.
Manish Palaparthy, India

Under my government, development will embrace all segments at a macro level, still allowing individuals to accumulate wealth at a micro level. I am joining an economics school to research on this. I do not have time for Pakistan and spacecrafts.
Jomi, US

I would try my best to stop all the Indian talent going to the US and UK, and other developed countries. I would try to create better jobs within the country so that people like me do not work for strengthening economies of developed countries rather that my own motherland.
Abhijeet Singh, India (USA)

If I become India's PM, my first goal would be weeding out corruption from all aspects of the government machinery. I will also ensure that all law-enforcing agencies, both at central & state levels, are efficient and aloof from any political interference. I still believe there are honest and dedicated people in our law-enforcing agencies. All that is needed is to give them a free hand in enforcing the law.
Rohit Upadhyay, India

People need empowerment and informed intermediation. Information Technology demonstrates this powerfully and has changed the quality of life in rural India. As always the need to provide water, power and roads continue to be imperative. Shortages result in strife. Enablement through empowerment will lead to people producing more of what they want and the shine will be widespread. We need to make India rise and shine!
K Ramachandran, Mumbai

If I become Prime Minister in this life or the next, I will make sure that any person who is found guilty of abusing governmental power is jailed for no less than 15-20 years and this way restore the rule of law by putting fear in the minds of those inclined to corruption. Clean up the environment by controlling air, water, land and noise pollution.
Narinder Pal Singh, India

If I were the prime minister I would target one of the grassroots foundations of this country - education. Only mass literacy - to the masses can bring about education which would help in family planning and in turn help control population - one of the main priorities of India. Second, I would develop a Kashmir Dispute Resolution Task Force - a panel of eminent social reformers, academic scholars to bring about a model to bring peace in the Kashmir Valley. Last, but not the least we need the people in India to believe in their country to make it a better place.
Aswin Subanthore, USA/India

I would prefer to transfer more power to women by legislation which will lead to grassroot level transformation. More jobs for women and changes in inheritance laws. This will in the end change the whole dynamics of a corrupt patriarchal society.
Archana Sribastav, India.

A new portfolio of minister for religious tolerance and religious communications has to be introduced for preserving the intra-religious peace in India. The minister's duty would be to see that all religions expressed themselves and provided platforms for discussion of religious subjects and issues leading to present day violence. Another portfolio for controlling crime and to make the country more crime-free year-on-year. Another portfolio for controlling natural disasters and another cabinet minister to reduce violence in Jammu and Kashmir. There has to be one minister exclusively for Hindu-Muslim riots whose work will be to reduce fighting and one special army squad to be initiated to contain the riots.
KV Balachandran, India

If I became prime minister, I would introduce minimum educational qualifications for politicians. I would continue the economic reforms that are underway now and concentrate on developing the villages.
Prasad, United Kingdom / India

I would use the collective bargaining power of a billion fellow Indians to petition the United Nations to adopt a resolution requiring the righting of the state-sponsored ethnic fleecing of the Indian sub-continent in the centuries past. And lest the corrupt political system in India today should aggrandize the returned wealth, I would ensure the reparations are not made in the form of material goods, but are rendered as services - civil, social, health, educational, technological, etc., and as economic opportunities. After all, the German and US governments respectively recompensed the descendants of the holocaust victims and the African American slaves, the latter in the form of affirmative action programs. Dare I Dream, "Free education and health-care for all Indians, courtesy of Her Majesty!"
Ram Ashok Viswanath, India / USA

If I were prime minister I would vigorously push and implement a simple three-point national agenda within democratic and constitutional limits. 1. Population control. 2. Corruption eradication. 3. Judicial reform. Unfortunately none of our great political parties seem to be very keen on addressing these issues.
Ashley Noronha, India

My government's first priority will be drinking water and electricity. Pathetic condition of Indian rural roads have to be changed. Contractors and engineers should be made to sign an agreement mentioning the lifespan of the roads they are constructing. Standard of primary education, and English education in government schools wants to be improved.
Krishnakumar, India

If I am the PM of India, I shall take out some power from not so efficient government machinery and give it to capable companies, etc. I shall make a tough law for family planning. I shall change the present judiciary system to make it efficient.
Pran Soni, India

If I get a chance to become PM of India I would certainly try to eradicate all types of corruption, will do the needful to bring down the growth of unemployment and always would do the best to increase the percentage of literacy in rural areas, and would ensure to have at least food and shelter for all citizens of India.
P George, India

I would have smaller but more "hi-tech" military and also I would control population at any cost. My first priority would be to solve Kashmir problem so I can look at other problems. To solve Kashmir problems, I would use all methods. I would also bring justice to victims of 1984 riots [against Sikhs in Delhi after assassination of Indira Gandhi].
Aditya, New Zealand

There is no real responsibility getting transferred from one government to another. If government changes, a complete administration is shifted, so that it will benefit the particular party. Any prime minister must look into these.
CV Madhav, India

If I happen to be the prime minister, I would press for defence cuts and use these defence funds for infrastructure development, education, medical research and technological research and if possible try to bring long-term jail sentences to corrupt government and other officials.
Nair Sathyaprakash, India

If I were the PM of India, I would reform the tax system both at corporate level and individual tax. Also a mandatory tax deduction for health system. Privatisation of banking and insurance sector. I would reform education system. Also I would like to change the political system of India to a presidential one. India needs to get rid of the parliamentary system if it really wants to become a successful country.
J P Singh, India/ Australia

If I was the prime minister of India my first duty will be listen to the people of India. To gain peace with our neighbours like Pakistan and China. Have better controls on the borders. Employ new troops to fight terrorism. My plan is for every single person to have job opportunities, better education for every child, help for people of poor backgrounds. I want India to be a superpower as it is right now - to do that we will need the people's help to solve Kashmir and Punjab.

If I become the prime minister of India I would strive hard to provide the basis needs of food, clothing and shelter. We need laws so that the younger generation are truly involved in our nation's political arena. I would bring harsh laws to punish corrupt politicians. I would make sure every part of the country sees progress, not just the cities.
Karthik , USA

The biggest problem is POPULATION, POLLUTION & POVERTY, P3. Implementing 1 child norms. Higher education, effective and useable. Remove reservation in education and govt sectors, in terms of castes. Strict and fast proceeding of cases related to corruption, female harassment, & terrorism. Removing child labour.
Nayan Shah, India

If I were Prime Minister of India, I would work to alleviate poverty not only in India, but in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh too, so that there is no animosity towards Indian power and wealth, and so that there are not large-scale migrations of people into India. I would work to reduce the influence of radical religious cults like the VHP in Indian politics. I would also work to eliminate corruption.
Varun, Boston

One of the most important problem faced by we the common people of India is corruption at all the levels. Routing out this evil can lead to a safer and better India to start with. Tax payers money as per records does go to help the poor people but never ever reaches the needed all due to corruption again. If I were the PM of India routing corruption would be the first step that I would take and I think lot of things would automatically fall into place.
Krishna, India

If I were the PM of India I would do exactly the same as Atal is doing. India is a vast country with so many problems and to bring it back on tracks. Perseverance and determination to rebuild a nation is the key. The whole change has to be slow so that it seeps into the masses as a practice and not something that is forced upon.
Veer Khar, New Zealand

Pull out the corruption from the grassroots. Remove all the political corrupt leaders from party, power and make them stranded on the road like dogs. Make the government-functioning fully-transparent. I will let people know what each politician is doing in day to day activity. Make the environment pollution-free, lay wide roads, generate employment opportunities for the youth. Also, I will try hard to develop the cities like Mumbai (where 40% of the people live in huts and slums), Bihar state, MP and UP states. Educate people to live in a more decent and organised society. Clean and overhaul the total police department and make it best in the world. I would prefer to give full power to all the IPS and IAS officers. They are the best people who can bring some difference in the society.
Sonia, India

I would bring to justice the people that recently killed thousands of Muslims in Gujarat. This has given our secular country a bad name, and allows people to continue to point fingers at India about the bad treatment of its minorities. Whereas, the truth is, India is a very tolerant society where everyone lives happily side-by-side.
Arun Gupta, India

The silent majority needs to be educated (not literate) about original/authentic commandments of their Faith in their vernacular languages through audio-cassettes (like Walkman) not as presented by clerics/politicians of vested interests; personal hygiene; basic health-care; civic-obligation then civic-rights; literacy; gainful-occupations; self-help means.
Mohi, USA

If I had the opportunity of becoming the leader of this great country, I would cut defence spending, work to end the Indo-Pak dispute and alleviate poverty. The money spent of military personnel and weaponry against Pakistan in the last decade alone could have fed the nation's poor. Invest in education and health-care and abolish the cast system. Reform the police force and make them accountable, end religious politics. Educating the young gives the nation a chance of betterment, a real chance of peace and tolerance in an ever challenging and changing world. Make India a beacon of democracy.
Ibrahim Mulla, UK

I would "Do What" Indian people want "Me" to do to them "NOT" what I want to do to "them" I would NOT enjoy occupying the post while million Indians are NOT enjoying. I would do every Indians good by creating and offering the basic necessities! There isn't done enough to achieve a little India and those who holds responsible God forbid are heartless and have no sense of humanity.
Peter D-Mun, Denmark

Most important things that need to be done are frequent change in leadership. As change in leadership gets new ideas. Hence limiting Prime minister's post to just 2 terms. Same should be said of chief minister's post. Resolving border disputes and stopping communal issues through common laws for every one and not religion based laws. Corruption needs to be eliminated through hiring more judges and police. I feel improving job situation will eliminate poverty.
Vijay, India

In India we are missing basic needs. I would first work on building infrastructure to get water and electricity. Next thing would be good roads.
Sreekanth, USA/INDIA

Public Health, Safety and Welfare are core for sustainable development of the country. Unfortunately due to the low percentage of educated politicians they forgot the core issues to fighting each other. If I were PM, I would nail these issues to make sure every Indian has a job, enough to eat and feel secure. Jai Hind.
Raju, India

We need to restore trust and confidence in our nation, pride in our people. We have lost them when our PM's nephew was thrown out of running train, a Swiss diplomat assaulted in public parking and Australian lady murdered near Airport. First and foremost restoration of law and order is essential. All round development of infrastructure, business and economy, conducive investment atmosphere is required with minimum bureaucratic interference. Our Mantra is fast track development to educate, feed and house the billions. India must become a noble nation, trusted by her inhabitants and feared by her enemies.
om prakash madria, India

1) With about 60 to 70% of the population of India living on agriculture, step 1 would be to modernize farming to make them competitive on the global front 2) Build desalination plants to rid the drought states of water problem and take care of the yearly flooding problem in the NE. 3) Build Country wide database of Indian citizens 4) Close links (using technology)across all states for better communication, crime tracking etc. 5) Quickly put in place and upgrade labour laws, technology laws etc. to keep up with the times and make conducting business easy 6) Enforce compulsory education for all with penalties for not complying. Include English language as part of the curriculum to give all citizen equal opportunity to compete on the global arena 7)Severe punishment for corruption 8)Benefits for families with two children or less 9)Stop the project to take us to the moon and boost project to send weather, health and education related satellites 10)Faster privatization of state owned industries
Arvind, India / Us

Here are my top 10 priorities, 1st priority would be eliminating caste system in education and it should be by knowledge. 2nd priority - Educating people and creating more jobs. 3rd priority - Cleansing political system (In order to be a politician, no corruption, no criminal history) 4th priority - There are lots of people in India - I will make very strict rule where no one can't have more than 2 kids. 5th priority - Basic life needs (Clean air, Water, food, shelter and health insurance) 6th priority - Well established law and order from top to bottom. 7th priority - Human rights. 8th priority - Good friendship with neighbouring countries. 9th priority - No state boundary, I will merge all state and make it united states of India (USI). Last but not least good transportation.
Swami Natarajan, INDIA/USA

1. I would organise an all party, all engineers, all economists and scientist all India conference to find out methods of solving water disputes and improve water distribution. 2. Find methods to pool the students resources in summer and give them jobs to create social awareness, education among the most downtrodden and arrange student camps that will organise cleaning of the cities taking a few model cities for trial 3.Encourage medical camps in villages at least twice a year, give free treatment and instil awareness of common diseases and find out if local traditional medicines can be availed of 4. Right from the school, teach that there are different religions but each one has to respect the other. 5. Prohibit child employment for ages less than 12 and at least introduce evening education class for working children of age 12-16; 6. Use TV media to promote some of the above mentioned things and make aware of Indian diversity by mixing different states in a single show of one hour and not reserve one hour for each state/language
Suryanarayanan, France

If I am the prime minister of India, I will try to stop the religion be used to divide India. I like to unite India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka into one trading block and raise the prosperity of the people in this region. I will bring good relations with China and the west. I will actively involve in getting peace in Kashmir, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Gopi Raja, Chennai, India

Abolish Corruption.
Sahil Thapa, United Kingdom

spend all my energy to rejoin Pakistan, Bangladesh and India together again. and reduce defence budget to improve the economics to feed and shelter every one.
mukhtar ahmed, uk

India is a poor country. India has been poor for last 4000 years. In next 26 years, India will prosper... Changes will come quietly.... Thanks and Regards.
Sam Rupani, USA

1) Reduce the power of religious political groups 2) Root out corruption in the police forces, so that the law can be applied at grass-roots level 3) Increase access to law and legal protection for rural poor 4) Increase taxation base in the country, to improve fiscal revenues (i.e. ensure that better off people pay their income taxes) 5) Spend money on education of poorer people, especially women and children. 6) Outlaw application of caste system 7) Increase wealth by encouraging investment at micro-level
Rustam Roy, England (ex-India)

I will basically focus on undeveloped regions like Bihar State, where there is most criminalities and poverty. I think, developing those region makes first step of national development.
Sunu Diwakaar, India

First and foremost, there should be something done for the millions who are suffering in India. It is amazing how the rich can just walk past the millions of people they see on the road. As the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. In India, everything is possible if you have the power. If I was the prime minister, I will start off tackling poverty and education. Both lie in line with each other. The poorer you are the less chances you are educated, which leads to child labour, no family planning and more starvation. How difficult is it for the government to actively promote education and do something about it? Why is it possible in Kerala and in some other states and not in other states? If I was the prime minister, I will stop less worrying about India and Pakistan and Kashmir, a problem which should have been solved years ago and worry about the current status of my people. It is well known to everyone that this country, its people have a lot of potential.
Shilpa, UK

1. Introduce equal laws for all. Unified Civil Code, article 370 to allow ALL Indians to buy property in Kashmir. 2. Eliminate the possibility of EVER building a temple in Ayodhya where a holy mosque once stood. 3. Improve the condition of our soldiers and invest in defence sensibly. 4. Increase employment, especially in poverty stricken states like Bihar and Assam to prevent migration of the poor to cities that are over crowded. 5. Illegal Immigration from Nepal and Bangladesh will be taken care of. India already has a billion people and I will try to send back all illegal immigrants and stop more from flocking Indian cities from these countries.
Shivi Sawhney, UP, India

I would sack all the people in places of power and then recruit fresh people and then tidy up the country (ie helping the needy and poor).
khalid, UK

I am a graduate in engineering working for a US company. I a really surprised about myself, not knowing what I can for my country when suddenly asked about it. With this at back drop I would like to bring out a few of my intentions. Get back to math on population, something HAS to be done at this moment to check the growth. Education is one of them and create awareness among the people deep in the heart of India- villages. Improve public health system. Provide better facilities and sops for the government workers so that they stop indulging in corruption and start begin using the govt resources for the country. For all this team work, educated and non- ambitious team of individuals is what I will need...make my own better team (ministry) to bring about all this would be also my first priority. I wish if I could have come out with a better answer.
Sujay, USA / India

The prime minister of India has an array of problems. There is high illiteracy, extreme poverty, over-population, corruption, communal violence, border disputes, insurgency, political instability, the list just goes on. What is lacking is the coherent will among the billion Indians to make India a developed nation. The uneducated aren't even aware of the concept of India, and the educated hardly care. I think. that as prime-minister, there may be several approaches to handle the apparent problems, but my personal goal would be to attack the root cause. Instilling pride among Indians, in every conceivable way, through media, and through thoughtful developmental projects would always be the parallel activity.
Rantej Bali, India

I am an Indian American, for a while I wondered what I could do if I were to become the leader of India. I would try to decrease corruption. Most of South Asia is known for its corruption. Politicians don't care about people as long as their own pockets are full, and people have given up the idea of rising up since they don't want to loose what they have. Second, is a strong stance on Kashmir. Kashmir is a integral part of India and will remain part of India forever. Its an internal problem and this should be resolved without any international interference. Also, develop India's economy, by providing more jobs and also increase the Naval force of India.
Raj, USA

If i were the prime minister of India... I would transform India into a super power. I would set an example for other countries to follow. I would give maximum attention to advancing technology in the field of electronics, telecommunication, IT and manufacturing. I would divert ALL the funds going into the defence sector to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT's) to bring out excellent people. I would also bring in new policies to attract talented Indians settled abroad. I would replace the old ministers with dynamic young people who have lots to deliver in terms and efficiency and transparency. I would like to make sure that every kid in India gets access to education. I would bring in advanced farming technologies which would benefit farmers, even those who have little water. This can be done taking the example of Israel. Finally, I would (re) establish a space program at par with NASA. All the above would certainly put India into the driver's seat.
Kiran R Mahajan, India

I would ban all castes. Will give more power to regional governments. Get rid of Social hypocrisies .
rabinder henry, Germany/India

01. population control - Getting a grip on population could provide better amenities to the future. 02. corruption - harsh punishment for all corrupt officials. if all these money were to be accounted. India could by far provide free health and education to all in India. 03. get rupee value on par with dollar - there could be no more future brain drain. 04. poverty eradication, health, agriculture should now become a priority- Since improving relations with Pakistan and china, India should spend its allocated budget towards these areas. All slums areas should be demolished and high-rise buildings could be built providing them shelter for a nominal rent. shelter could be provided for free for old people. Health care could be provided for all people if such funds were made available with new hospitals, better equipment 05.sports plan -- a plan to promote sports India- with its large population there are hardly few medals we achieve. 06. Defence, IT , Science and research - should also be given priority. self reliance could boost our India as a global power...
Roshan, India(London)

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