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By Sanjeev Miglani, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO: New Delhi (Reuters) – Indian Americans, who turned out in huge numbers at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demigod like rallies in the United States, are separated over the bearing India is going, another review appeared on Tuesday.
Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has extolled the achievements of the Indian diaspora in America and elsewhere, seeing them as a large support base to advance India’s interests in host countries.
But only 36% of Indian Americans believe India is on the right track, while 39% think it is not, according to the survey of Indian Americans released by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins-SAIS, and the University of Pennsylvania.
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One-fifth of the respondents did not have any opinion. The survey was conducted between Sept. 1 and Sept. 20, 2020, in partnership with the research and analytics firm YouGov.
“A significant minority of Indian Americans is concerned with political and social changes underway in India,” the authors Sumitra Badrinathan, Devesh Kumar, and Milan Vaishnav said in their assessment of the survey results.
Modi’s government, which first came to office in 2014 promising to turn India into political and economic power, has faced criticism for promoting a Hindu-first India and of trying to suppress dissent.
A gigantic months-long protest by farmers on the boundaries of the capital Delhi against unrestricted economy changes in farming has again pushed the Modi government into the global glare, with figures from pop star Rihanna to environment extremist Greta Thunberg announcing their help for the cultivators.
The survey found that 18% of Indian Americans believed government corruption to be India’s most pressing challenge, followed by 15% who listed the economy as their area of concern. Another 10% of respondents cited religious majoritarianism as the country’s most important challenge.
Indian Americans are the second-largest immigrant group in the United States, and many of them joined a boisterous “Howdy Modi” rally in Houston in 2019 also attended by then-U.S. president Donald Trump.
Despite their misgivings about where India was headed, 49% of the respondents gave a thumbs-up to Modi’s performance as prime minister. The survey said that 32% disapproved of him, while the rest said they had no opinion.
Curated By Humra Kidwai
(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Alex Richardson)