New Delhi: Amid allegations of “intolerance” of diverse opinions in the country, a new survey for the BBC’s Crossing Divides season has found that 56 per cent Indians profess to have conversations with people with opposing views on issues like politics, climate change, immigration and feminism at least once a week.
Further, 42 per cent urban Indians polled said that they felt comfortable sharing their political opinion with others even if they have a contrary view to theirs, showed the results on Tuesday, making India the fourth country with such a large proportion of population that feels at ease with political viewpoints.
The other three markets endorsing this view were Turkey (61 per cent), Mexico (45 per cent) and South Africa (43 per cent), according to the survey conducted by market research firm Ipsos.
At the bottom of the heap were Japan (seven per cent), South Korea (27 per cent) and Italy (28 per cent).
“The study shows that Indians are taking the opposing views in their stride and have figured out a mature way of dealing with them by avoiding direct confrontation,” Parijat Chakraborty, Head of Ipsos Public Affairs, Ipsos India, said in a statement.
The study, however, also showed that 43 per cent self-righteous urban Indians believe that those who oppose their views care less about India’s future.
But only two in 10 Indians (22 per cent) feel that people’s divisive views on politics are dangerous for the society.
Nearly 70 per cent of urban Indians believe that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are giving a voice to people who would not normally take part in debates and social issues.
Further, 63 per cent Indians credit social platforms like Facebook and Twitter for breaking down barriers between the public and those wielding power.
“Also, majority of Indians exhort the merits of social platforms as interactive mediums. Downside being, social platforms are denounced for being divisive though,” Chakraborty added.
While 43 per cent Indians hail the positive impact of immigration on India, 20 per cent hold the contrary view, the results showed.
The findings were part of a global study carried out online among adults under 65 across 27 countries. Nearly 20,000 adults participated in the survey.
The fieldwork was conducted from November 26-December 7, 2018.