Skip to main content

India 'worse' than Pakistan, other neighbours in social hostilities score: US think-tank

By Rajiv Shah
A recent report, published a top American think-tank based in Washington DC, the Pew Research Center, has found India faring poorest among the 25 most populous countries across the world in social hostilities index (SHI), which seeks to analyse 13 different issues related with social tensions arising out of religious discord and violence.
Significantly, it is the same Pew which created a major flutter ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when it said that nearly two-thirds people of India supported the Narendra Modi-led BJP, giving the first major international indication that it was poised for a major victory.
Scoring a high 9.5 on a scale of 10, India’s score is found to be worse than several all the South Asian countries, including Pakistan, which scores 7.7, followed by Bangladesh 7.2, Afghanistan 6.5, Burma (Myanmar). 5.9, Sri Lanka 5.6, Nepal 2.6, China 1.3 and Bhutan 0.4. Titled “A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World”, this is the 10th report since 2007 seeking to delve into government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion.
The report states, “Communal violence has long been common in India, which continued to score high in this category in 2017”. It cites “media reports” to say now “a dispute between two Hindu and Muslim high school students in Gujarat escalated into a mob attack on the village’s Muslim residents”, leading to “homes and vehicles” being “set on fire” and about 50 homes “ransacked by the mob.”
As for government restrictions index (GRI), which seeks to analyse official restrictions placed on religious freedom, Pew finds that India, with a score of 5.4 on a scale of 10, does better than China, which is the worst performer in the region, scoring 8.9, followed by Burma 6.9, Pakistan (6.6), Burma and Afghanistan (6.5), but worse than Bangladesh (4.8), Nepal (4.6), Bhutan (4.6) and Sri Lanka (3.8).
Overall trend of the last 10 years suggests that India’s SHI rose from 8.8 in June 2007 to 9.7 in December 2016, but slightly came down to 9.5 in December 2017. As for India’s GRI, it was 4.8 in June 2007, which rose to 5.1 in December 2016, and further to 5.4 in December 2017.
Basing itself on 20 published sources of information, including reports by the US State Department, the United Nations and various nongovernmental organizations, the report seeks answers to the questions on a country-by-country basis.
It says, “In 2017, among the 25 most populous countries, Egypt, India, Russia, Pakistan and Indonesia had the highest overall levels of both government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion. The countries in this group with the lowest overall scores were Japan, South Korea, South Africa, the Philippines and Brazil.”
Pointing out that more than 5 billion people – or three-quarters of the world’s population – live in the planet’s 25 most populous countries, including China, India and the United States, the report says, “Looking at restrictions in these countries can give insight into how large segments of the world’s population are affected by government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion.”
According to the report, “The very populous countries with the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion were India, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh, with all five experiencing ‘very high’ levels of hostilities. Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and Iran had the lowest levels of social hostilities among the world’s 25 most populous countries; all were either ‘low’ or ‘moderate’.”
“The highest government restrictions among the most populous countries occurred in China, Iran, Russia, Egypt and Indonesia, with all ranking in the ;very high’ category of restrictions”, the report notes, adding, “The lowest-ranking countries were South Africa, Japan, the Philippines, Brazil and South Korea. These countries fell into the ‘low’ category of government restrictions, with the exception of South Korea, which had a ‘moderate’ level of government restrictions on religion in 2017.
“In some countries”, the report says, “Levels of government restrictions roughly matched levels of social hostilities. For example, Egypt and Pakistan had ‘very high’ levels of both government restrictions and social hostilities in 2017, while Japan scored ‘low’ on both indexes.”
“In other cases, the two scores diverge sharply. China had the highest level of government restrictions among all 198 countries in the study in 2017, yet it had low levels of social hostilities. And Iran had the second-highest government restrictions score among all countries in 2017 – behind China – but experienced only “moderate” levels of social hostilities involving religion”, the report says.

Comments

Uma said…
Statistics support what you see around you and read in newspapers.

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.