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As BJP support grows, Indian youth show troubling inclination towards intolerance, conservatism: Indo-German study

By Rajiv Shah
While Indian youth appear to be becoming outwardly modern in their appearance and consumption habits, their “thoughts and views reflect a troubling inclination towards intolerance and conservatism”, says a new study, carried out jointly by Delhi-based Centre for the Study in Developing Societies (CSDS) and the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
The study has found about two in five young Indians to be either highly or moderately style conscious, becoming “fond of wearing stylish clothes and shoes, keeping the latest mobile phones and visiting beauty parlours and salons.”
However, the study regrets, “A significant proportion of aspirational, style-conscious, smartphone-savvy and mall-visiting young Indians to be also holding illiberal (even regressive) views, although they may be slightly less likely to do so compared to those who are not as stylish and aspirational.”
“Even as they embrace a certain aspect of Western modernity, the youth do not seem to subscribing to Western ideas of equality”, the study, which is based on a survey of India’s young population (15-34-year-olds) between April and May 2016 among 6,122 respondents, regrets.
A more illiberal and intolerant attitude among youth comes amidst a much stronger supporter for the BJP among them than Congress, Aam Aadmi Party or those seeking to identify themselves as “socialist” (click HERE), and failure of the oppressed youths to protest (click HERE).
All figures in %
It says, “Overall over half the youth were found to be holding patriarchal and misogynistic views, including many young women. Two in every five young Indians do not feel it is right for women to do a job after marriage, a similar proportion agreed with the proposition that men make better leaders than women.”
“Over half the respondents also agreed in varying degrees with the proposition that wives should always listen to their husbands”, the study, titled “Attitudes, anxieties and aspirations of India’s youth: changing patterns”, adds.
Recalling that about a year ago, numerous artistes and public intellectuals had publicly expressed apprehensions about growing intolerance in the country, the study believes, “There are reasons to worry as around one-fourth of the youth (23%) said that they had hesitated in expressing their opinion on a political issue.”
In fact, the study says, “More than half of the Indian youth (53%) feels that people have become less tolerant about listening to views of others. This indicates that the popular claim about rising intolerance in the country is also shared by many youngsters.”
“It is worrying to find that youth from religious minorities like Muslims and Sikhs were more likely to agree that people have become less tolerant”, the study says, adding, “We find that six out of ten respondents (60%) supported banning movies which hurt religious sentiments. Close to half of the youth (46%) object to allowing beef consumption.”
The study says, “Around half of the youth (49%), support the status quo on capital punishment”, adding, “These figures clearly indicate that most youngsters remain averse to progressive beliefs on political issues.”
The study finds, “Muslim youngsters were largely in favour of abolishing death penalty as around half of them (47%) agreed with the given statement. Sikhs and Christian youth were least supportive of abolishing death penalty as only around one-fourth of them agreed with the state.”
On the other hand, it says, “Hindu youth are slightly less likely than others to support a ban on films which hurt religious sentiments (59%).”
The study further finds that “more than two-third of Muslim (69%) youth considers beef consumption to be a personal choice and opposes any objection to it. On the other hand, only 31 percent of the Hindu youth and 33 percent of the Sikh youth seem to concur with this view.”

Comments

Kumari Puja said…
Nice analysis. Thank you for sharing.

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