40% Canadians say Sikhism among India’s top two religions

  • Anirudh Bhattacharyya, Reuters, Toronto
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2015 18:15 IST

A poll done in Canada ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in the country’s capital, Ottawa, shows that the majority of Canadians, 71% of the sample, have a mostly favourable or very favourable view of India.

While most respondents replied correctly that Hinduism was among the two major religions in India, nearly 40% identified Sikhism as among the top two, while only 25% opted for Islam. The institute stated in the release:

“While Sikhs do comprise a significant swath of the Indian community in Canada, they are not more than 2% of the actual Indian population.”

Meanwhile, even as this is the first visit by an Indian PM to the country in 43 years, only 22% of the respondents could identify Modi when shown his photograph, even after the mainstream Canadian media’s highlighting the visit in recent days. Just 21% of those born in Canada could tell it was Modi, while nearly half (49%) of those born abroad succeeded in identifying him.

The online survey by Vancouver-based public opinion research organisation Angus Reid Institute between April 8 and 10 included a randomised sample of nearly 1,500 respondents.

A press release noted: “They (the respondents) see India’s economic growth as an opportunity for Canada, but still say our diplomatic efforts should be placed on China first.”

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