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

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”