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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 15:03 GMT
India's future: Have your say
Republic Day parade

Where is India heading? Can it cope with the massive economic, environmental and political issues it faces as it develops into a global force.

Starting on Monday you can join in a live radio debate young Indians around the country hosted by the BBC's World Have Your Say (WHYS) team.

We will be linking up with audiences in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.

Our audience sets our agenda and we talk about what they suggest. Meet some of the people joining us on the tour and read about their ideas for discussion.

What do you think we should be discusssing? What are the burning issues in India? Do you have a question for these, or any members of our audiences? Would you like to join us in Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad or Mumbai? Send us your comments.

Here are some of the participants.


Khushboo Sandhu
Are teaching methods conducive to our needs?
I am a 23-year-old journalist working for The Indian Express - my beat is education.

I completed my Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism in 2006 from Panjab University, Chandigarh.

I have also received training with Doordarshan and All India Radio, our national broadcasters.

Chandigarh is the first planned, modern city designed by French architect Le Corbusier after India gained independence in 1947. Over the past decade the city has grown tremendously.

It was designed for a population of 500,000. It is now double that. The growing population has brought with it problems like road congestion, increasing cost of housing, lack of land, etc.

On the brighter side we have some of the best tourist spots, like the Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, the Rose Garden, the War Memorial for martyrs of various wars and many other landmarks. So efforts are being made to promote tourism in the city.

Another issue that is constantly discussed is the quality of education.

Although the city has a large number of reputed educational institutions, the discussion is about whether the curriculum and the methods of teaching are conducive to the needs of the current time.


Anuva Seth
How can we ensure a peaceful future?

I'm a 20 year old, final year student of economics at Lady Shri Ram College. I currently have been offered a position as a trainee analyst at Ernst & Young.

There are a lot of issues that are prevalent irrespective of where one goes, such as identity, expectations, hopes and prospects for the future; and things that are simply fun or interesting.

In Delhi, the average university student is, fortunately or unfortunately, extremely political and the major issues being talked about here are political developments. It could be in the micro-sense, such as reservations (for lower-castes) in education, or on a macro-level, a possible solution for Iraq.

If I had to have a discussion on just one issue, it would probably be with the United Nations Security Council, or the G8 heads of state, or any political entity with influence, on their vision of a peaceful future and how would they practically go about it.

OMER FAROOQ, Hyderabad

Omer Farooq
IT has altered the entire lifestyle of the city

I am a journalist with 25 years of experience, 13 of them with the BBC. I cover the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, one of the major states of India with a population of about 80 million.

I have seen many of the political, social, economic and cultural ups and downs India has experienced during last quarter of a century. Hyderabad city has epitomised all these changes.

During last decade or so Hyderabad has emerged a bustling hub of information technology, BPO industry and call centres. At present 160,000 people are working in the city's software companies and call centres.

All the major multi-national corporations have their campuses and offices in the city. So the IT industry has really changed the fortunes of the city, altering the entire society and its lifestyle in the process.

But Hyderabad has plenty of history too.

Until 1948 it was a princely state ruled by Asif Jahi rulers also known as Nizams. It was the richest state in the country. The last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, was the richest man in the world. The rare collection of jewellery he left has been estimated to be worth $2bn.

Once a cradle of Persian and Urdu language, poetry and literature, the city is now the capital of Andhra Pradesh. Telugu is the official regional language.


I live in India's financial capital, Mumbai. I am 22 years of age and work as a communications manager with one of the top media houses in the country. Although I was born into a business family, my education and interest in global affairs have been instrumental in allowing me to find my ground in the media industry.

India Poised is a national theme at the moment. It'd be nice to delve into factors that are hampering India's growth. For example - corruption.

To get the youth involved and arouse national interest, politicians need to clean up their act.

As for Mumbai, 50% of its people are living in slums! How then can we make Mumbai a world-class city like Shanghai? What's the solution? Is there one?

India is not one country. It is a nation divided by its own people. Those in the west have nothing in common with those in the south, east or the north. We don't speak the same language, nor do we dress the same, our food is different and so is our culture. We need to figure out a way of working in harmony.

If not, sooner or later divide and rule will pave way for another partition.

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