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Pew Study: 87 Percent of Indians Like Modi

A Pew study conducted last spring and published today finds that an overwhelming majority of Indians hold a favorable view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pew:

Almost three-quarters of the public now think economic conditions are good. And about two-thirds have a very favorable view of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This high level of approval is two to three times that for other leading Indian politicians, according to a new 2015 Pew Research Center survey […]

Moreover, Modi’s aura has reinvigorated Indians’ faith in their government. About two-thirds of respondents who have a lot of confidence in the prime minister say the influence of the national government is now very good […]

The Modi phenomenon transcends India’s traditionally partisan politics. On most of the challenges facing the nation, the prime minister and his party enjoy support from both the BJP party faithful and followers of the opposition Congress party. Moreover, Modi and the BJP now have greater backing than Congress in rural areas, traditionally a Congress stronghold

Polls are always unreliable, and Pew’s ability to conduct a thorough study in a country as large and diverse as India is limited. Still, these numbers are nothing short of astonishing, and we’ll be watching the upcoming elections in Bihar closely to see if the BJP is really so popular today as the poll found he was when Pew conducted it in April and May.

But if those elections do confirm that public opinion of Modi remains even close to that high, that raises a further question. If his government is so popular, it should have an easy time pushing through reform proposals. So, why hasn’t it?

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  • Andrew Allison

    As TAI noted as recently as last month, the Congress party is doing everything it can, including preventing the passage legislation which it introduced when in power, to hurt Modi. The Pew poll suggests that Modi’s party will pick up enough seats to overcome this problem and institute reform.

  • Kevin

    Perhaps Modi is far more popular than his policies, and he’s afraid to risk his popularity to push through unpopular policies. Alternatively perhaps his opponents are deft at using their power to in a very decentralized Indian political system to thwart his policies. But how u successful has he actually been – the land reform bill was a major setback, but that’s just one plank in his platform, how many of his policies have been adopted, how many have failed and for how many is it too early to tell? How is India’s economy and foreign policy doing?

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    People hate change and will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid making any changes. I think Modi just needs more time to remove the bureaucratic speed bumps, and political enemies standing in the way. Also, the level of corruption in India is very high, and these networks of corruption take a long time to build and will resist any disruptions which would stop the flow of money into their pockets.

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