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Indians most bullish on Bush

TRUST INDIANS to be different from everyone else, even in the way they like the United States. This year's Pew Global Attitudes Survey says Indians' favourable ratings for the United States has dropped sharply from last year. But approval for 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.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 01:32 IST

TRUST INDIANS to be different from everyone else, even in the way they like the United States. This year's Pew Global Attitudes Survey says Indians' favourable ratings for the United States has dropped sharply from last year. But approval for 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-United States nations among 14 countries surveyed. And when it comes to confidence in Bush, India heads the list.

But both pollsters and diplomatic sources in New 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 Unites States than about Bush. "We should wait to see if other polls confirm these figures," said one diplomat.

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

Indian support for the United States-led war on terrorism was 65 per cent — the highest in the world and 13 points more than last year.

A majority of Indians continue to believe the world is safer after Saddam Hussein's removal. A remarkable 59 per cent believe United States’ efforts to establish democracy in Iraq will succeed — more than most Americans.

First Published: Jun 15, 2006 01:32 IST