More than four-fifths of Indian citizens trust their government, but interestingly, a majority of Indians also support military rule and autocracy, a latest Pew survey said on Monday.
“In India, where the economy has grown on average by 6.9 percent since 2012, 85 per cent (of people) trust their national government," Pew Research said in a report based on its survey on governance and trust among key countries across the world.
Notably, in India, which has strong democratic credentials since the last seven decades, according to Pew, a majority (55 percent) of its people support autocracy in one way or the other. In fact, more than one-fourth (27 percent) of them want a strong leader.
Nearly half of Russians (48 percent) back governance by a strong leader, but rule by a strong leader is generally unpopular, it said.
A global median of 26 percent say a system in which a strong leader can make decisions without interference from parliament or the courts would be a good way of governing.
Roughly seven-in-10 (71 percent) say it would be a bad type of governance.
India is one of the three countries in the Asia Pacific region where people support technocracy. "Asian-Pacific publics generally back rule by experts, particularly people in Vietnam (67 percent), India (65 per cent) and the Philippines (62 percent)," it said.
Only Australians are notably wary as 57 percent say it would be a bad way to govern, and only 41 per cent support governance by experts, the report said.
According to the survey, roughly half of both Indians (53 percent) and South Africans (52 percent), who live in nations that often hold themselves up as democratic exemplars for their regions, say military rule would be a good thing for their countries.
But in these societies, older people (those aged 50 and older) are the least supportive of the army running the country, and they are the ones who either personally experienced the struggle to establish democratic rule or are the immediate descendants of those democratic pioneers, Pew said.
Only one in 10 in Europe back military rule. Pew said more than half in each of the 38 nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country.
Yet, in all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist, to varying degrees, with openness to non-democratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader, or the military.