Results of a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center have unveiled a striking reality: a substantial 80% of Indians hold a favorable view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a significant majority observing a notable increase in India’s global influence in recent times. The survey, spanning from February to May, engaged over 30,800 adults across India and 23 other nations. It provided insights into global perspectives on India’s geopolitical standing, perceptions of PM Modi, and attitudes toward various countries.
Among the respondents, a whopping 79% of Indians expressed a favorable opinion of PM Modi, while an impressive 55% characterized their view as ‘very favorable.’ Prime Minister Modi, who has been in office since 2014 and is currently seeking re-election for a third term in the upcoming national elections next summer, garnered a negative perspective from only a fifth of those surveyed. These significant findings were revealed just ahead of the imminent Group of 20 leaders’ summit scheduled to convene in New Delhi next month.
Elevated Global Position for India:
The survey delved deeper, uncovering that 68% of Indian participants perceived a surge in India’s global influence in recent years, while a mere 19% noted any decline. Within the G20 nations, India received favorable ratings from a majority. However, the survey highlighted a waning positive sentiment toward India within European countries over the past 15 years.
Globally, the Pew survey reported a median of 46% favorability toward India, with 34% holding an unfavorable opinion. Additionally, participants from 12 of the surveyed countries were asked about their confidence in Prime Minister Modi’s prowess in international affairs. The results showed that 40% lacked confidence in his decision-making, while 37% expressed confidence.
Mixed Perceptions on PM Modi’s Leadership:
It’s important to note that the survey primarily focused on India, excluding G20 members like Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. While the survey underlined India’s generally favorable image, there was a dip in popularity across most European nations. Notably, in France, India’s favorable rating had plummeted from 70% 15 years ago to a mere 39% in 2023.
Regarding bilateral relations, Israel stood out as an exception. An impressive 71% of Israeli respondents viewed India favorably, marking the highest figure among all surveyed nations. Interestingly, despite this favorable perception, a slight discrepancy emerged in confidence levels toward PM Modi, with 42% of Israelis expressing doubt compared to 41% expressing confidence.
In terms of global dynamics, nearly half of Indian respondents believed that the United States had bolstered its influence in recent years, likely influenced by the deepening strategic partnership between India and the US as they jointly addressed the challenges posed by China’s ascent.
Similarly, 41% of Indian participants noted Russia’s growing influence, while 21% believed it had diminished. Conversely, India’s opinion of China was largely critical, with 67% expressing an unfavorable view, marking the highest among all nations surveyed. This sentiment echoes the ongoing border tensions between the two nations since 2020.
Notably, among all surveyed, Indians were the most likely to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin would act appropriately in international affairs. Similarly, India (65%) viewed the United States more favorably than many other nations surveyed by the Pew Research Center.
In a general trend, young Indians tended to be more forthcoming in expressing opinions about India. According to a Pew Research Center survey, a quarter or more of Indians had no opinion on Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the two leaders of the Indian National Congress (INC).