Most Indians trust government, but majority prefer autocracy: Survey

WASHINGTON - More than four-fifths of Indian citizens trust the government, but, interestingly, the majority also support military rule and autocracy, a new survey by the Pew Research Center said on Monday (Oct 16).

"In India, where the economy has grown on average by 6.9 per cent since 2012, 85 per cent (of people) trust their national government," Pew Research said in a report based on its survey on governance and trust among key countries.

According to the survey, reported news agency Press Trust of India, 55 per cent of Indians support autocracy in one way or the other. In fact, more than a quarter, (27 per cent) want a "strong leader".

A global median of 26 per cent say a system in which a strong leader can make decisions without "interference from parliament or the courts" would be a "good way of governing". Most however,(71 per cent) say it would be a bad type of governance.

India is one of the three countries in the Asia Pacific where people support a technocracy, which is a government comprising an elite of technical experts. "The Asian-Pacific public generally back rule by experts, particularly people in Vietnam (67 per cent), India (65 per cent) and the Philippines (62 per cent)," said Pew.

Only Australians are notably wary, as 57 per cent say it would be a bad way to govern.

According to the survey, roughly half of both Indians (53 per cent) and South Africans (52 per cent) say military rule would be a good thing for their countries. But in these societies, older people (those aged 50 and above) are least supportive of the idea, and they are the ones who either experienced the struggle to establish democratic rule or are the immediate descendants of those democratic pioneers, Pew said.