This year’s Pew Global Attitudes survey reveals a striking decline in optimism among Indians. The most striking statistic: just 38% of Indians are satisfied with the country’s direction, down from 51% last year. The question this raises: Are such numbers a depressing indication of bad times, or actually signs of a healthy new realism about the country? It’s been a rough year in India, for sure, but, as I suggest in India Becoming, the country has often over-estimated its situation–and often to its great detriment.
Another very striking finding in the survey: rich Indians are far more positive about the country’s prospects than poor and middle-income Indians. I think that’s a very telling finding.