New Delhi: Most of the Indians are optimistic about the direction that the country is headed to in the run-up to the 2019 elections. However, there are persistent concerns about unemployment and terrorism, especially the threat posed by the neighbouring country Pakistan, stated a sampling of public opinion published by US-based Pew Research Centre. As many as 2521 respondents from India took part in the US-based Pew survey that was conducted from May 23 to July 23, 2018.

While 15 per cent of the respondents said that the financial situation of the average Indian is worse today when compared to 20 years ago, two-thirds of the Indians state that things are better off. Pew Research Center tweeted on Tuesday, “As India’s elections near, most Indian adults are satisfied with the direction of their country and the economic prospects of the next generation. But they are concerned about terrorism and the threat posed to their country by Pakistan.” When asked how serious of a danger Pakistan poses for India, about three-quarters of the respondents in India (76 per cent) alleged that Pakistan is a threat, including 63 per cent who considered it is a very serious threat.

The signs of public dissatisfaction were evident as 66 per cent of the respondents were strong that their children would be better off than them. However, the percentage is down by 10 per cent since 2017. Similarly, 55 per cent of the people were satisfied with the trajectory of the country, which is down by 15 per cent since 2017.

According to the report by Pew Research Center, Indians claim that most of the politicians in the country are corrupt and elections do not change much, but that Indian democracy allows freedom of speech. Regarding the freedom of expression, the study says, “By more than two-to-one (58% to 26%), Indians say their rights to express their own views are protected very or somewhat well.” A similar proportion (56% to 27%) says most people have a good chance to improve their standard of living in India. This is more of an urban perception. The Indian judiciary retains its popularity among Indians — “A plurality (47%) believes the court system treats everyone fairly, a perception held especially among young people.”

54% of Indian adults are satisfied with the way democracy is working in their country, but a third are dissatisfied, stated the study. Researcher Moira Fagan tweeted, “Majorities in five Asia-Pacific countries have a favourable view of India, along with 50% of Americans.”