India worse than neighbouring countries in social hostilities index: US think-tank


According to a report by the Pew Research Center, an American think-tank based in Washington D.C., India has performed the worst among the 25 most populous countries across the world in social hostilities index (SHI).

Titled “A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World”, the report is based on analysis of 13 different issues related to social tensions arising out of religious discord and violence.

With a score of 9.5 on a scale of 10, India has scored the worst in comparison to its neighbouring states such as  Pakistan, which scores 7.7, followed by Bangladesh 7.2, Afghanistan 6.5, Burma (Myanmar). 5.9, Sri Lanka 5.6, Nepal 2.6, China 1.3 and Bhutan 0.4.

“Communal violence has long been common in India, which continued to score high in this category in 2017,” the report states.

India, with a score of 5.4 on a scale of 10 in the government restrictions index(GRI), has done better China (8.9), Burma 6.9, Pakistan (6.6), Burma and Afghanistan (6.5), but has performed worse than Bangladesh (4.8), Nepal (4.6), Bhutan (4.6) and Sri Lanka (3.8).

If the overall trend of the last 10 years is seen, India’s SHI rose from 8.8 in June 2007 to 9.7 in December 2016, but slightly came down to 9.5 in December 2017. As for India’s GRI, it was 4.8 in June 2007, which rose to 5.1 in December 2016, and further to 5.4 in December 2017.

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“In 2017, among the 25 most populous countries, Egypt, India, Russia, Pakistan and Indonesia had the highest overall levels of both government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion. The countries in this group with the lowest overall scores were Japan, South Korea, South Africa, the Philippines and Brazil,” the report states.

“The very populous countries with the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion were India, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh, with all five experiencing ‘very high’ levels of hostilities. Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and Iran had the lowest levels of social hostilities among the world’s 25 most populous countries; all were either ‘low’ or ‘moderate’.”

“The highest government restrictions among the most populous countries occurred in China, Iran, Russia, Egypt and Indonesia, with all ranking in the ;very high’ category of restrictions”, the report notes, adding, “The lowest-ranking countries were South Africa, Japan, the Philippines, Brazil and South Korea. These countries fell into the ‘low’ category of government restrictions, with the exception of South Korea, which had a ‘moderate’ level of government restrictions on religion in 2017.

“In some countries”, the report says, “Levels of government restrictions roughly matched levels of social hostilities. For example, Egypt and Pakistan had ‘very high’ levels of both government restrictions and social hostilities in 2017, while Japan scored ‘low’ on both indexes.”

“In other cases, the two scores diverge sharply. China had the highest level of government restrictions among all 198 countries in the study in 2017, yet it had low levels of social hostilities. And Iran had the second-highest government restrictions score among all countries in 2017 – behind China – but experienced only “moderate” levels of social hostilities involving religion”, the report adds.

Source: National Herald

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