Jump in citizens dissatisfied with way democracy works in India: Pew Research Centre

Most Indians remained satisfied with the way democracy worked in India, but the number of those dissatisfied had grown and registered the biggest jump among the 27 countries surveyed last year.

The number of dissatisfied Indians jumped by 22 points from 11% in 2017 to 33% in 2018, said Washington-based fact tank Pew Research Center’s study.

Indians satisfied with democracy were still in majority at 54%. It was higher than 40% and 42% in the US and the UK and the 27-nation median of 45%.

There was a split on the party lines regarding the perception of the functioning of democracy. Dissatisfaction was higher among people, who did not support the Bharatiya Janata Party-led ruling National Democratic Alliance than among its supporters, the study found.

Only 16% of those, who supported the NDA, were dissatisfied with the way democracy was working in the country. As many as 42% of those, who did not support the ruling coalition, were dissatisfied, according to India-specific data Pew provided.

India was also no exception to the “strong” correlation the survey found generally between assessments of the functioning of democracy and views on the state of the economy.

The dissatisfaction was linked to the poor or bad economy.

“India stands out as the country in which concerns about the economy increased the most of any of the 27 surveyed,” said Laura Silver, a senior researcher at Pew. “[Though] some level of fluctuation in people’s satisfaction with democracy is possible [over time] … some of the patterns we have identified here could be relevant for the Indian election,’’ Silver said.

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