Indians look at US favourably; want Obama to win: Pew survey

September 11th, 2012 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Sep 11 (IANS) While a majority of Indians is favourably disposed toward the United States, only a third of urban Indians approve of China and just 13 percent have a positive view of Pakistan, according to a new survey.

A 58 percent-majority is favourably disposed toward the US and they see America in a more favourable light than they view other major world powers, such as Russia (48 percent) or the EU (38 percent), according to the survey by the Pew Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project.

About seven-in-ten city dwellers (71 percent) who say they are following the US election closely want US president Barack Obama to be re-elected, the survey by the Washington “fact tank found.

Only a third of urban Indians have a favourable view of China, it said. And those who say that China’s growing economic influence is bad for India are more likely to describe relations between the two countries as hostile.

Just 13 percent of all Indians have a positive view of Pakistan. Nevertheless, seven-in-ten overall think it is important to improve relations, including through resolution of the Kashmir dispute (77 percent), increased trade (64 percent) and further negotiations (58 percent).

Notably, Indians and Pakistanis share an animosity toward each other. But both want their bilateral relations to improve, the survey found.

There is little support among urban Indians for Iran (28 percent), and about half (52 percent) oppose Tehran obtaining nuclear weapons.

Other key findings:

* Indians are divided in their views of 21st-century life: 49 percent like the pace of modern life, while 52 percent complain that their traditional way of life is getting lost. Roughly eight-in-ten (79 percent) want to shield their traditional culture from globalization.

* Two of every three Indians believe most people can succeed if they are willing to work hard.

* About half of Indians (53 percent) surveyed believe that it is more important for Indian society that everyone be free to pursue their life’s goals without government interference rather than the state playing an active role in guaranteeing that nobody is in need (25 percent).

* Roughly six-in-ten Indians (61 percent) think most people are better off in a free market economy, even though some are rich and some are poor.

The survey is based on interviews conducted among 26,210 respondents in 21 countries, including 4,018 in India, from March 17 to April 20, 2012.

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