Washington/ Nagpur: India is among the countries that have highest support for religious freedom, with 8 out of 10 Indians believing that it is very important to have the freedom to practice their faith compared to a global median of 74%, according to a new survey.
US-based Pew Research — that surveyed 38 countries and interviewed 40,786 people between April 5 to May 21, 2015 — found that there is strong support for gender equality and religious freedom in India.
83% Indians said it is very important to have the freedom to practice their religion, compared to a global median of 74% across the nations polled.
Overall, global public opposed media censorship, except in cases of national security. In India, 74% said media organisations should be able to publish information about large political protests in the country.
Across the nations polled, a global median of 78% also said the same, Pew said while releasing the contents of its survey.
Support for internet freedom in India (38%) is among the lowest of all countries polled. Even though internet freedom ranks last among the six broad democratic rights included in the survey, majorities in 32 of 38 countries nonetheless said it is important to live in a country where people can use the internet without government censorship.
Across 38 nations, a median of 50% believe it is very important to live in a country with an uncensored internet, Pew added.
A global median of 65% said it is very important for women to have the same rights as men and in India 71% of those polled agree, the report said.
On the issue of equal rights for women, there are sharp differences between men and women in most of the countries in the study. In 24 nations, women are more likely than men to say it is very important for women to have equal rights.
“However, in India, there is no gender difference on this question,” Pew said. In India, 49% believe it is very important to have honest, competitive elections with a choice of at least two political parties.
Elections are clearly considered a central component of democracy around the world, and among the 38 nations in the study, a median of 61% agree.