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Indians most bullish on Bush

As per a survey, India still remains among the top three pro-US nations, reports Pramit Pal Chaudhuri.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 02:14 IST

Trust Indians to be different from everyone else, even in the way they like the US. This year’s Pew Global Attitudes Survey says Indians’ favourable ratings for the US have dropped sharply from last year. But approval for US President George W. Bush has risen. Even more strangely, approval for Americans as a people remains high. For most countries, the order of ascendance is the opposite.

The survey was conducted in urban areas of India, in five languages and taken just after the Bush visit. Despite the indication of a slump in Americophilia, in all three categories India still remains among the top three pro-US nations among 14 countries surveyed. And when it comes to confidence in Bush, India heads the list.

But both pollsters and diplomatic sources in Delhi say the Pew results contradict four or five surveys taken at the time of the Bush summit which showed Indians to be more enthusiastic about the US than about Bush. “We should wait to see if other polls confirm these figures,” said a diplomat.

While the Pew Foundation argues Iraq has tarnished the US image, this is clearly not the case with Indians:

* Indian support for the US-led war on terrorism was 65 per cent —the highest in the world.

* Most Indians believe the world is safer after Saddam Hussein’s removal. Fifty-nine per cent believe US efforts to establish democracy in Iraq will succeed — more than Americans.

The survey shows only 29 per cent Indians see Iran as a moderate or great danger to the world.

First Published: Jun 15, 2006 01:52 IST