Unemployment, religious nationalism top poll issues

Rising unemployment and nationalism on religious lines are the two key issues bothering citizens ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, revealed a survey conducted by Lokniti-CSDS and the Azim Premji University.

"Twenty per cent of those surveyed said unemployment was the biggest issue facing India, and 15 per cent said the top government priority should be a remedy to joblessness," said the survey titled "Politics and Society between Elections 2019", released on Tuesday.

The second and third issues cited were 'development' (15 per cent) and 'law, governance and corruption' (13 per cent).

Sixty per cent of those interviewed for the survey said no minorities and migrants but influential people blocked progress. This sentiment was stronger among the youth. 61 per cent of those below 35 years of age felt about elites blocking development.

Fifty-one per cent of those above 35 years held the same view, said the report.

People also said it was easier to get admission in government schools than a water connection.

The report said though caste identities were prominent, these were overshadowed by religious identities when it came to religious nationalism.

The survey found the Indian Army was the most trusted institution in the country with an effective trust of 88 per cent, followed by courts (60 per cent). Political parties were the least trusted as 55 per cent people expressed their mistrust in them.

People in UP, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Assam sought punishment for those who don't say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' at public functions. But residents of Nagaland, J&K, Kerala, Mizoram, Tripura, Punjab and West Bengal disagreed.

The opinion was almost similar for those who don't get up during the playing of the national anthem at public places.

Barring J&K, Nagaland and Mizoram, majority of those surveyed in other nine states sought punishment for beef eaters.

The survey was aimed at exploring citizens' trust in political institutions, ties across social groups, ease of public service access, citizen-state interfaces and governance, gender roles and relationships, nationalism and political identity, freedom of expressions and populism.

The survey covered 24,092 people in Assam, J&K, Kerala, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Delhi.