83% of #Indians bat for #religious #freedom: #Pew #survey

India is among the countries that have highest support for religious freedom, with eight out of 10 Indians believing that it is very important to have the freedom to practice their faith compared to a global median of 74%, according to a survey by Pew Research Center.

Non-partisan fact tank US-based Pew Research –that surveyed 38 countries and interviewed 40,786 people between April 5 and May 21, 2015 – found there is strong support for gender equality and religious freedom in India. 83% Indians say it is very important to have the freedom to practice their religion compared with a global median of 74% across the nations polled.

The report said, 74% of the respondents in India say media organizations should be able to publish information about large political protests in the country. Across the nations polled, a global median of 78% also say this, Pew said.

Surprisingly, given the fact that India is now the world’s second largest user of smartphones, support for internet freedom in India at 38% is among the lowest of all countries polled. Even though internet freedom ranks last among the six broad democratic rights included in the survey, the majority of those polled in 32 out of 38 countries say it is important to live in a country where people can use the internet without government censorship. Across the 38 nations, a median of 50% believe it is very important to live in a country with an uncensored internet, it said.

A global median of 65% say it is very important for women to have the same rights as men and in India 71% of those polled agree, the report said. On the issue of equal rights for women, there are sharp differences between men and women in most of the countries in the study. In 24 nations, women are more likely than men to say it is very important for women to have equal rights.
“However, in India, there is no gender difference on this question,” Pew said. In India, 49% believe it is very important to have honest, competitive elections with a choice of at least two political parties.

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