Skip to main content

India ranks No 24 in Free Expression Index among 38 countries: American think-tank Pew International survey

By Rajiv Shah
Well-known US-based think-tank, Pew Research Centre, in a new study has found that India ranks No 24 of 38 democratic countries it has surveyed for coming up with Free Expression Index (FEI). The United States ranks No 1 with an FEI of 5.73, followed by Poland (5.66), Spain (5.62), Mexico (5.4), Venezuela (5.17), and Canada (5.18).
The country that ranks the worst is Senegal with an FEI of 2.06. While Jordan ranks second from the bottom an FEI of 2.58, India’s neighbour, Pakistan, despite having a democratic government today, ranks third from the bottom, with an FEI of 2.78. The mean index, however, is 4.07, which is higher than that of India.
A non-partisan think-tank, the Pew study seeks to examine global public opinion about democratic principles. It is based on 40,786 face-to-face and telephone interviews in 38 countries with adults 18 and above, conducted from April 5 to May 21, 2015.
Authored by Richard Wike and Katie Simmons, the study states, “Although many observers have documented a global decline in democratic rights in recent years, people around the world nonetheless embrace fundamental democratic values, including free expression.”
The Pew research finds that 21 per cent of people believe that government should be able to “prevent media organizations from publishing information about large political protests in our country”, as against just 11 per cent in the US, eight per cent in Canada and four per cent in Spain.
Pakistan’s whopping 33 per cent – one of the highest in the world – believe media should be prevented from publishing information on large political protests. The global median here is 21 per cent, almost equal to that of India.
The study shows that 45 per cent of people in India believe that government “should be able to prevent media organizations from publishing information about economic issues that might destabilize the country’s economy”, as against 14 per cent in Canada, 15 per in the US, 16 per cent in 16 per cent in Spain and 14 per cent in Poland. The global median here is 35 per cent.
However, on the issue of publishing information on sensitive issues related to national security, Indians were found to be more found to be liberal.
Thus, 48 per cent in India said the government “should be able to prevent media organizations from publishing information about sensitive issues related to national security”, as against 59 per cent in the US and 56 per cent in Canada. The global median here is 52 per cent.
On the issue of religious freedom, Pew says, “This right is highly valued in the Asia-Pacific region”, where more than “eight-in-ten Pakistanis, Indians and Indonesians describing religious freedom as very important, compared with just 24 per cent in Japan, the lowest share among the countries surveyed.”
Overall Free Expression index across 38 countries surveyed
However, coming to elections, Pew says, it is “considered a central component of democracy, and across the 38 nations”, with a median of 61 per cent think “it is very important to have honest, competitive elections with the choice of at least two political parties”; yet, “there are five nations where fewer than half deem this very important: India, Tanzania, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.”

Comments

TRENDING

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

'First time' since 1970s poverty up 10%, consumer spending down 4%: GoI survey

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment for the Government of India (GoI), a new official survey, carried out in 207-18, has reportedly said that average consumer spending in India fell by more than 4% the previous six years "primarily driven by slackening rural demand." The survey, "Key Indicators: Household Consumer Expenditure in India”, carried out by the National Statistical Office (NSO), says that money spent per person in a month fell by 3.7% from Rs 1,501 in 2011-12 to Rs 1,446 in 2017-18.

As fear 'grips' right liberals, Arvind Panagariya, too, would be declared anti-national?

By Rajiv Shah
It is surely well-known by now that India's top people in the power-that-be have been castigating all those who disagree with them as "anti-nationals". Nothing unusual. If till yesterday only "secular liberals", and "left-liberals" were declared anti-national, facts, however, appear to have begun surfacing that, now, guns are being trained against those who could be qualified as right liberals, too. Let me be specific.

National award winning film 'Hellaro' co-produced by three chartered accountants

By Our Representative
“Hellaro”, a Gujarati feature film produced by Saarthi Productions in association with Harfanmaula Films (Ahmedabad) was declared as the Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards which was conferred by the Government of India. The film also won the Special Jury Award for the Best Actress to all the 13 actresses of the film.
Ashish Patel produced the movie, which has been co-produced three co-producers, Aayush Patel, Prateek Gupta and Mit Jani, all of whom, interestingly, started their filmmaking journey after becoming Chartered Accountants in 2012.
“Hellaro” is directed by Abhishek Shah, who has been working in Gujarati theatre since the past 17 years as writer, director and actor and has received numerous awards for his plays. He has also worked as a casting director for 12 films.
“Hellaro” is a period drama based in Kutch and has been co-written by Abhishek Shah and Prateek Gupta. Gupta previously received the Best Debut Director Award, along with Mit Jan…