Modi Is Really Popular in India
By Alyssa Ayres (Council on Foreign Relations)
In a recently released public opinion survey, the Pew Research Center finds that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to enjoy sky-high approval ratings three years after his government came to power.
An astronomical 88 percent of those surveyed held a favorable view of him, up from a dip to 81 percent in 2016, and one point above 2015's favorability rating of 87 percent.
Modi Is Really Popular in India
The Pew survey also showed a very significant uptick, a trend continued since 2013, on the question of being "satisfied with direction of country." The latest figures had 70 percent "satisfied" with their country's direction, up from 65 percent last year and 56 percent in 2015. In 2014 only 36 percent of respondents were "satisfied" with India's direction, and in 2013 a low 29 percent.
Similarly, on a question concerning views of the economy, 83 percent said they thought the "current state of economy is good." That too is up from last year's 80 percent, in turn up from 2016's 74 percent, and 2014's 64 percent.
In recent months concern about the Indian economy has mounted in India. Growth rates have been slowly dipping for six straight quarters, and in the most urgent area of concern -- job creation -- alarm bells are now going off. People are worried about jobless growth. On the question of economic growth, analysts have generally pointed to the double whammy of India's currency demonetization in November 2016, which created a cash shortage with immediate impact on India's large informal economy, followed by the overly complicated rollout of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST).
While the Pew team fielded their survey prior to the introduction of GST, their late-February-to-March window certainly would have reflected public opinion on demonetization. Favorability of Modi, of the economy, and of the country's direction moved higher nonetheless.
The Pew survey is well worth reading in full. In addition to these headlines, it also contains findings that reaffirm what anyone might expect: for example, a huge partisan difference exists when it comes to views of the prime minister -- a thirty-two-point gap between Bharatiya Janata Party versus Indian National Congress members' views. I can't say this was unexpected.
But it also has some surprises. For example:
- Indian views of the United States have become less favorable. From a peak of 70 percent in 2015, to 56 percent in 2016, now only 49 percent of Indians surveyed hold a favorable view of the United States. "Confidence in the U.S. president" has moved on a similar path, with a high of 74 percent in 2015 to 58 percent in 2016, down to 40 percent this year. This is quite a drop on both counts, and began before the end of the Barack Obama administration -- so does not represent a simple story with the transition in the United States to the Donald J. Trump administration.
- The bigger surprise to me was that more than half of those surveyed said that rule by the military would be "good." It wasn't at all surprising to see 76 percent see direct democracy as a good way to govern India, but I would not have anticipated 53 percent to see military rule as a "good way of governing India." This chart is worth a close look.
Article: Courtesy Council on Foreign Relations.
CFR's Blogs represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.
Photo: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering during his visit to Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India. Amit Dave/Reuters
- Be Wary of a China Witch Hunt
- Is North Korea Really that Crazy?
- Kim Jong-un's Dialogue Offer
- North Korea: The Cost of War Calculated
- Asia's Other Nuclear Standoff
- Preservation of the Asian Territorial Order
- Indonesia: East Asia's Rising Star
- China's Economic Multilateral Diplomacy
- China: When the Dragon Wakes
- Empowering China's New Miracle Workers
- The Influence of China in Bringing Peace to Myanmar
- Nationalism, Japan, and a Changing Asia
- More Prominence for India
- Modi Is Really Popular in India
- Australia Establish a Modern Slavery Act?
- China's Creditor Imperialism
- China: Xi Jinping Unbound
- Tri-Border Maritime Cooperation Foundering
- Money Talks in China’s Cloistered Internet
- North Korea Ready to Talk, But Who's Listening?
- What Can We Expect From Indonesia's New Defense Chief?
- Asia's Cities Against North Korea
- The Trumping of Asia
- China's State Security Strategy
- Australia's Agenda for Integrating the South Pacific
- Australia's Turn to Lead on Climate Change?
- Understanding the North Korea Threat
- North Korea: A Cold Northern Spring
- The Fastest-Growing Humanitarian Crisis
- Trump's Looming Hard Line on China
- Trump's Visit to the Philippines
- Trump's Mouth: Greatest Threat to Both Koreas
- Why Kim Won't Give Up His Nukes
- China's Communist Party By The Numbers
- The Grim Scale Of The Rohingya Crisis
- Rohingya: Ethnic Cleansing Leads to Refugee Crisis
- North Korea's Devastating Artillery
- North Korea Facts and Figures
- North Korean Defections
- Australians Urged To Eat Kangaroo Meat
- Can The U.S. Intercept A North Korean Missile?
- Troop Levels on the Korean Peninsula
- Japan: Shinzo Abe Wins in Landslide
- Ghost Collateral Haunts Loans in China
- North Korea's Cyber Warfare Cell that Worries the West
- Girls Freed From Mumbai's Brothels Learn Hindi To Retrace Trafficking Routes
- Yoga Tycoon Rises with Modi
- India Honors Nepali Woman Who Freed 12,000 Girls From Sexual Slavery
- India: Affordable Housing Plan Won't Fix Homelessness
- Indian Farmers Discover Flower Power
- India: Child Brides On The Rise
- Tsukiji Fish Market: Fighting To Save Tokyo's Culinary Heritage
- Pakistan: Sindh Province Cracks Down On Child Labor
- Nepal Fails To Deliver Relief To Quake Survivors
- Afghanistan: Refugees and Repatriation
- Australia Shark Attacks Could Take Bite Out of Tourism
- Australia Disappointed by Japan's Continued Whale Hunts
- Thousands March Demanding Change To Australia Day
- Australian Wine Exports To China Soar
- Philippines Narcotics Agency Takes Over Drugs War
- Philippine Troops Kill 15 Islamic State Supporters
- Philippines Asks China for Help in Fight Against Islamic Militants
- South Korean Perceptions of North Korea
- North Korea's Nuclear Infrastructure
- Countries in Range of North Korean Missiles
- Who Can We Trust To Measure Poverty?
- Instability, Quagmire, & Peace
- China's Vast Digital Potential
"Modi Is Really Popular in India"