How does India see the world?

We’re a week out from this year’s G20 summit in India, the world’s most populous country and one of the fastest-growing major economies.

So it’s pretty good timing for Pew Research Center to drop a major new survey on India, based on interviews with 30,861 people in 24 countries. According to Pew’s findings…

🇮🇳 👉 🌏 Here’s how India sees itself and the world:

  • 💪 68% of Indians think their country has become more influential recently (a view on India shared by 28% of folks elsewhere)
  • 🇨🇳 26% of Indians like China, and 31% say it’s getting weaker (more Indians hold this latter view on China than on anywhere else)
  • 🇷🇺 India is the survey’s only country with majority-favourable (57%) views towards Russia (only 14% of folks elsewhere feel the same)

🌏 👉🇮🇳 And how the world sees India:

  • 🤔 46% (median) of folks around the world hold favourable views towards India, though the number has declined in several countries
  • 🇮🇱 India is particularly popular in Israel (71% favourability), likely reflecting the two countries’ close tourism, tech, and security ties
  • 🇺🇸 Delhi is often still unknown abroad: 40% of US folks haven’t heard of Prime Minister Modi (so invite your friends to read Intrigue 😀)

Intrigue’s take: These results paint a picture that broadly matches what we know of India’s evolving approach to the world: charting its own course, and becoming what Foreign Minister Jaishankar once described as more of a “shaper”, and less of an “abstainer”.

It’s also a reminder that it’s a delicate balance to hit the gas without spooking the neighbours.

Also worth noting:

  • Modi has pledged to be an inclusive G20 host, and has proposed that the African Union become a permanent G20 member.
  • The Pew survey says 65% of folks in India have a favourable view of the United States. India has the highest percentage (20%) of people who consider American movies, TV, and music to be below average.
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