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Indians Losing Faith in Government But Still Believe in Free Markets

The Pew Research Center has a new report out that shows a strong decline in Indians’ satisfaction with their country’s direction and economy. Only last year, Indians were nearly as optimistic as the prospering Chinese, but now?

Just 38% of Indians are satisfied with the way things are going in the country – a 13 percentage point decline since last year. This is among the largest drops in national contentment across the countries surveyed in 2011 and 2012.

Among Indians who worry about the economy, 92 percent blame the government, with corruption being a significant cause for complaint. And the discontent extends beyond India’s economic fortunes; respondents expressed pessimism about electricity failures, relations with Pakistan, and, by a striking majority, threats to their “traditional way of life” from rapid urbanization and foreign cultural influences.

There is, however, some good news in this survey. Impressions of the United States and its government are generally positive, and while Indians are clearly dissatisfied with the state of the economy, they aren’t losing their faith in capitalism: 61 percent of Indians think a free market economy makes people better off. India may face many more obstacles in its path to great power status, but belief in the benefits of free markets will serve it well in the long run.

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