Elections are around the corner, and there isn’t a better time to gauge public opinion. A report “Politics and Society between Elections” authored by a group of researchers from Azim Premji University and Lokniti-CSDS — based on a survey of more than 24,000 respondents in 12 states — helps us understand political and social attitudes in India in this context.
Chart 1 shows that joblessness has taken over as the biggest issue the country is facing, replacing price rise and governance, issues that topped the charts in 2014.
When it comes to the institutions that run our democracy, people tend to trust the Army, the courts and the district collector the most. In contrast, political parties, government officials and police have earned the least trust from the public, Chart 2 shows.
Chart 3 reveals the rural folk and urban dwellers approach a different set of people for “getting things done”. While local political/elected leaders are the most important in villages, MLAs and government officials assume more importance in cities.
Though caste does not feature prominently in the list above, there are wide variations among states.
More Punjabis and Keralites think that caste does not matter in getting work done, but more respondents from Mizoram, Nagaland and UP think that caste matters, as Chart 4 shows.
Chart 5 demonstrates how people in these states think of the elite. Respondents in West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh feel the least animosity towards them. Finally, most people generally think courts are powerful enough to overrule elected leaders. However, more respondents from Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Uttarakhand think the contrary to some extent, Chart 6 shows.
StatsGuru is a weekly feature. Every Monday, Business Standard guides you through the numbers you need to know to make sense of the headlines | Sources: Azim Premji University, Lokniti; Compiled by BS Research Bureau