A large majority of Indians want to retain plurality: survey

CSDS-Lokniti poll reveals alarming fall in trust in EVMs and the Election Commission; 48% believe Ram Mandir construction will consolidate Hindu identity, but only 11% say that “India belongs only to Hindus”

April 12, 2024 05:01 am | Updated 07:06 am IST - CHENNAI

Image for representation

Image for representation | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An overwhelming number, 79% of those surveyed in the CSDS-Lokniti poll, aver that “India belongs to all religions equally, not just Hindus”, with only 11% saying that “India belongs only to Hindus”. This belief in plurality was more pronounced in urban areas (85% in towns and 84% in cities) and higher among the educated (83%) as compared to those with no schooling (72%).

Also Read: Lokniti CSDS pre-poll survey for 2024 Lok Sabha elections

Yet, while only 8% of the respondents said that the Ram Mandir was their most important concern, as shown in the first part of the CSDS-Lokniti pre-poll series on Thursday, 22% of them mentioned this as the “most liked action” of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. Of the respondents, 48% also expressed the belief that the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will consolidate Hindu identity — with the rich and the upper castes, in particular, more vociferous in saying so (58% and 59% each).

The survey also revealed an alarming decrease in trust — 58% of the respondents expressed some or great distrust in the Election Commission in 2024 as opposed to 78% evincing trust in the poll body following the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Nearly 45% suggested the likelihood that electronic voting machines could be manipulated by the ruling party, a lot or somewhat.

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