About 63% Indians were in favour of the government using “more” military force while “dealing with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” according to a survey conducted earlier this year.
11 percent chose “about the same” while only 8% advocated “less,” says the Pew Research Center survey conducted among 2,464 respondents “selected strategically” from 16 of the 18 most populous states (except Kerala and Assam) from February 21 to March 10.
The Pew survey did not include the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kerala and the entire northeast.
The survey also reveals that since 2015, Prime Minister Narendara Modi’s popularity is relatively unchanged in the north, has risen in the west and the south and is down slightly in the east.
As far as handling of various burning issues by Modi, only 50 per cent approve of the way he has handled communal relations, just 48 per cent approve handling of air pollution, 57 approve of handling of rising prices.
“Modi’s lowest ratings are for his handling of communal relations (50 per rcent) — the long fractious tensions between Muslims and Hindus and India’s various castes — and for his efforts to curb air pollution (48 per cent). People living in northern India…are particularly critical of how he has dealt with communal relations. And rural Indians are less supportive than those in urban areas of his handling of both communal relations and air pollution,” the survey says.
According to the survey findings, Modi is quite popular among youngsters, that is aged between 18-29 years. Around 72 per cent of this age group has “very favourable” view of Modi while only 5 per cent hold “very unfavorable” view of him.
Interestingly, a majority (55 per cent) of Indians also back a governing system in which a strong leader can make decisions without interference from Parliament or the courts, while 53 per cent support military rule, the survey finds.
“Support for autocratic rule is higher in India than in any other nation surveyed,” it notes.