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What I Would Do If I Became the Prime Minister of India
India has always been a beehive of activity. This land of 1.2 billion people and 2.6 million square kilometres is filled with tremendous diversity.
If there is one country where no culture goes extinct easily, it is India. The smallest of cultures have millions of adherents here!
A Land of Experiences
India, without a doubt is a land of millions of experiences, many of them shared! It is the land of over a billion aspirations and hopes. India is a melting pot.
What Ails India
Sadly for India, most of the politicians who have inherited political office here, have treated it as a resource to be exploited.
Often, politicians have been in cahoots with corrupt multinationals and have worked towards turning the country over to them. Millions of people have been displaced from their ancestral lands in the name of developmental projects that have brought development in name only, and misery in reality.
The environment is treated with disdain and ravaged mercilessly.
Corruption is rife.
If I Become Prime Minister
Do I even stand a chance of becoming the prime minister of India? No, not at all. Then why this article?
Discussion and debate on the state of society is important, that's why. A society where there is no debate is in all probability an autocratic one.
As a citizen of India, it's important for people like me to keep the spirit of democracy and free speech alive.
Here are the things I would work towards if I were to become the Orme Minister of India(Note: this article will evolve over time as my thoughts evolve):
1. Land Reforms
I would bring in large-scale land reforms wherein tribals would be allowed to return to their lands. They would have free agriculture rights over community land.
I would ensure that no clearance would be given to special economic zones (SEZs) in rural areas.
2. The Environment
The environment would be a major focus area of my tenure as prime minister.
The global average for the percentage of land under some form of governmental protection is 12%. In India, only 4.5% of the territory is protected. I would increase that to at least 7%, which means an additional 2.5% of land will come into the protected bracket.
I will give no clearance to dams and highways in forest areas. Small roads will be permitted where unavoidable, but wildlife underpasses will have to be built to reduce the impacts of habitat fragmentation.
Dams will not be cleared in forest areas.
Highway plans will be modified as and if they pass through forest areas.
Better-quality housing with more amenities will be provided for the poor.
No coal-mining leases will be given. Existing leases will be gradually phased out.
Sustainable forms like wind and solar energy will be invested in heavily.
Organic farming will be promoted in a big way.
Genetically-Modified Foods will be banned and companies like Monsanto booted out.
Special subsidies and incentives will be provided to those who choose to take to farming as an occupation.
Specific lumbering zones will be established were every tree cut will be replaced by planting 2 trees. Only a limited quota of trees will be permitted to be removed yearly.
A minimum wage rule will be brought in for all occupations and will have to be followed by both public and private-sector companies.
All companies will have to pay employees for over-time work.
Special industrial zones will be developed away from cities.
Special eco-tourism zones will be developed in areas of interest.
Areas of Focus of my Prime Ministership