Obama most admired foreign leader in India: Poll

Last Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 21:35

Washington: US President Barack Obama is the most admired foreign leader in India and a majority of city dwellers in the country want him re-elected, an opinion poll said on Monday.

"About seven-in-ten city dwellers (71 per cent) who say they are following the US election closely want US president Barack Obama to be re-elected," said Pew Global Research Center, releasing the results of its major opinion poll conducted in India.

The poll also found that Indians have more favorable view of America than other major powers.

A majority of Indians living in cities have a favorable view of the United States (58 per cent), a positive opinion of Americans (57 per cent) and confidence in Obama (60 per cent), it said.

"Such confidence in Obama is one likely reason a majority of city-dwelling Indians (57 per cent) back his international policies, approve his handling of global economic problems and say relations with the US have improved in recent years," it said.

"A majority of urban Indians (56 per cent would also like to see President Obama re-elected. Among those who say they are closely following the election, a 71 per cent-majority wants Obama to have four more years.

"The American president`s support in Indian cities is roughly comparable among men and women and people of all ages. His backing is slightly stronger among urbanites with a college education or a higher income," Pew said.

Obama, in fact, is the most admired foreign leader in India.
"Far fewer have confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin (35 per cent), Chinese President Hu Jintao (22 per cent) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (20 per cent). The low ratings of Merkel and Hu, at least, are likely tied to the fact that about half are unfamiliar with either leader," it said.

According to the Pew survey, Indians in cities are also generally supportive of the exercise of US power, both hard and soft. They broadly favour (73 per cent) American-led efforts to fight terrorism and a plurality (48 per cent) backs US drone strikes targeting extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Most of them (69 per cent) also admire US scientific and technological advances, with college-educated, urban Indians being particular fans.

A majority (56 per cent) likes American ways of doing
business. And a plurality of Indians in urban areas (48 per cent) admire US ideas about democracy.

Nevertheless, roughly half (52 per cent) think it is bad that American ideas and customs are spreading in India and a 55 percent-majority of Indian city dwellers dislike American music, movies and TV.
"By a 44 per cent-to-33 per cent margin, more say they have an unfavorable view of China; 23 per cent venture no opinion. And while 40 per cent see Delhi`s relationship with Beijing as one of hostility, only 28 per cent see the relationship as one of cooperation and 21 per cent don`t know," Pew said.

Further about half (53 per cent) of Indians living in cities think China`s growing economy is a bad thing for India, and only 26 percent think it is a good thing.

Nearly six-in-ten urban Indians (58 per cent) who think Chinese commercial success is a bad thing for India also characterize the bilateral relationship as a hostile one.

"Indians also take a more skeptical view of China`s role in the international arena. Only 20 per cent of urban residents think China is the world?s leading economic power. By comparison, across the other 20 nations surveyed by the Pew Research Center this year, a median of 42 per cent see China as the global economic hegemon," the Pew survey said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 21:35

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