This article from the Asia Times is a day-brightener. The U.S. scores better in poll data from India than almost anywhere else:
Contrary to opinions in many other countries, especially Muslim-majority ones, the survey by the Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project states that America’s image is the best in India.
“Fully 71% in India express a positive opinion of the United States, compared with 54% three years ago,” the survey says. Favorable opinion of the US in India was higher than any of the countries surveyed, including Canada (where it declined from 72% three years ago to 59%) and the United Kingdom, where it dipped considerably from 75% to 55%. Indians also had the most favorable opinion of the American people – 71% compared to 70% in Britain, 66% in Canada, 65% in Germany, 64% in France, 61% in Russia and 43% in China. The survey was conducted among 17,000 people in the US and 15 other countries from April 20 to May 31.
A healthy majority of Indians view Americans as “inventive” (86%), “hard-working” (81%) and “honest”. Fewer than half associate the negative traits “greedy” (43%), “violent” (39%), “immoral” (33%) and “rude” (27%) with Americans.
Why do Indians like America so much? Partly, no doubt, because their countrymen have done so well here:
It helps matters that Indians in America are doing quite well for themselves, raising aspirations. A study titled, “We the People: Asian Americans in the United States”, released by the US Census Bureau, confirms that Indians are the best-educated, highest-earning, youngest and most likely white-collar workers among all major ethnic groups in the US, including native-born Americans. They are also among the top earners. Indian men had the highest year-round full-time median earnings ($51,900), more than the Japanese ($50,900) and well ahead of the national average ($37,057) and the Asian average ($40,650). Overall, the Japanese have the highest median family income ($70,849) followed closely by Indians ($70,708). Both were way ahead of the national average of $50,046.
This is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Meanwhile, India’s own economy has taken a drastic turn for the better:
India until the 1990s was a different country. It modeled itself on socialist Russia, its Cold War ally since independence in 1947, where the individual was subsumed by the might of the state and bureaucracy. In the 1970s and 1980s, the only way to breach the stranglehold of the state was to move to the West or the Gulf countries, where Indian entrepreneurs excelled. Doctors and engineers were in demand in the West, but formed a very small percentage of the youth who wanted to break the shackles that forced everyone to conform to an abstract higher good dictated by the thoughts of Karl Marx and the rest.
This, many observers say, was a complete antithesis of the way Indians are and have been for centuries. Like Americans, Indians have done best when allowed to excel in an uncluttered environment where individual excellence is recognized. The pursuit of high performance and efficiency, rooted in liberal values and individual rights and democratic principles, is where India and US stand on similar ground.
The collapse of socialism at the end of the 1980s continues to pay huge dividends.