New Delhi: While 93 per cent Muslims viewed Hindus favourably, only 65 per cent Hindus viewed Muslims in a positive light, reveals a new study.
The report, released by US think tank Pew Research Center Tuesday, is based on a survey of 3,505 Indians that was conducted between September and October 2018.
The report also revealed that “people who are members of a particular religious, racial or ethnic group had significantly more favorable views of their own group than they did of groups to which they do not adhere or belong”.
For instance, 96 per cent Hindus and 98 per cent Muslims viewed their own communities positively.
The survey titled ‘Attitudes Toward Diversity in 11 Emerging Economies’ was conducted in Colombia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam, and India.
Due to the different cultural contexts of the 11 countries surveyed, the researchers focused on different sets of groups in each country.
The groups surveyed in India were Hindus and Muslims, Muslims and Christians were surveyed in the Philippines, while Blacks, Whites and Coloured people were surveyed in South Africa.
56% Hindus interacted with Muslims in India
According to the survey 70 per cent of Muslims frequently or occasionally interact with Hindus in India, while only 56 per cent Hindus interact with their Muslims counterparts.
It also noted that people who “interact more with other religious groups also tend to have more favorable opinions of them”.
Of the Hindus who said they interacted with people outside their own faith — 71 per cent had a favourable view of Muslims.
As opposed to this, just 56 per cent of Hindus, who reported infrequent contact with people of other religions, said they viewed Muslims favourably, indicating a 15 per cent difference.
Survey was conducted prior to anti-CAA protests
The report revealed that 68 per cent of the Indians surveyed said the country is “bettered” with people from different backgrounds.
Only 16 per cent said the diversity made the country a “worse” place to live, while 10 per cent said it made “no difference”.
However, in a footnote, the think tank specified that the survey was conducted in late 2018 and preceded “the new citizenship law enacted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in early 2020, as well as the ensuing sectarian violence”.
The controversial Citizenship Amendment Act or the CAA was passed in December 2019, triggering a series of protests across India in December 2019 and early January. The law was seen as being discriminatory against Muslims in the country.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.