New Delhi: A Pew Research Center study of more than 30,000 people in 24 countries, including India, released on August 28 found that 46% respondents worldwide had a favorable view of India, while a large majority of Indians surveyed (68%) said India’s global influence is getting stronger.
According to the report, 79% Indians have a favorable view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including 55% who hold a “very favorable” view. “…In comparison, a median of 37% in 12 countries, most of which are middle-income, report having confidence in Modi to make the right foreign policy choices,” the report stated.
The report noted: “Opinions of Modi are mixed, with a median of 40% saying they have no confidence in Modi to do the right thing regarding world affairs and a median of 37% saying they have at least some confidence. Substantial minorities in most countries did not share an opinion, and respondents in Europe were not asked about the Indian leader.”
In 23 countries where respondents were asked about their view on India, 46% had “favorable” views, 34% held “unfavourable” views, and 16% didn’t know or refused. Among the countries surveyed, respondents from Israel had the highest favorability of India — 71% — followed by respondents from the UK (66%), Kenya (64%), Nigeria (60%), South Korea (58%), and the US (51%).
More people (51%) had unfavorable views in South Africa than favorable. The report comes days before New Delhi holds the G20 Summit on September 9-10. Pew said the survey was conducted from February 20 to May 22 among 30,861 adults.
According to the report, political ideology seems to have affected the way India is viewed. Among select countries where data has been collected since 2007, the percentage of people who held a favorable view of India has gone down in France, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Indonesia, the UK, South Africa and South Korea, Pew reported. Favorability numbers, it found, went up in Nigeria and Mexico.
Among 12 countries where respondents were asked about confidence in Modi, Kenya had the highest (60%) and Argentina (12%), Brazil (16%) and the US (21%) were at the bottom. In India, 79% had a favorable opinion of Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi got 62%, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had 46% and the party’s in Lok Sabha leader Adhir Chowdhury 42% favorable views.
When it came to how Indians view their country on the world stage, 68% said it is getting stronger, 19% said it is about the same, and 13% said it is weaker. Seventy-seven per cent of BJP supporters and 60% non-supporters said India is getting stronger. Among 19 countries where the question was asked, 28% agreed that India is getting stronger.