'Political parties most distrusted, Army, judiciary win people’s trust,' says study

Almost 20% of those surveyed said unemployment was their biggest concern. Image used for representational purpose

Almost 20% of those surveyed said unemployment was their biggest concern. Image used for representational purpose

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a public opinion survey in 12 states has found that political parties are the most distrusted political institutions in India. It also found that one in five of those surveyed felt that unemployment is the single biggest issue facing the country today.

The survey, Politics and Society between Elections 2019, found that political parties had a negative net trust rate of -55% (calculated as the percentage of respondent who trust them minus the percentage who do not). They are the only institutions with a negative net rate.

On the other end of the scale, the Army is the most trusted institution in the country, with an effective trust rate of 88%, while the judiciary – including the Supreme Court, High Courts and district court – enjoys an effective trust rate of more than 60%.

The report, published jointly by Azim PremjiUniversity and Lokniti, surveyed a sample of about 24,000 people from 12 states -- Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and the National Capital Region of Delhi. The sample is not weighted by state population; instead, each state had about 2,000 respondents. Previous surveys over the last two years have covered 12 more states, and researchers expect to collate all three surveys for a more comprehensive analysis in the future.

“For too long, studies on Indian democracy have focussed only on elections, as though our democratic system can be reduced to the electoral process,” said political scientist Zoya Hasan at the report launch on Tuesday, welcoming a survey that did not focus on how many seats would be won by which party, but rather looking into the perspectives and opinions of the Indian voter.


Apart from measuring institutional trust, the survey attempts to provide a glimpse into people’s views on governance, sexuality, gender, nationalism, populism, caste and religious identities.

Researchers also asked respondents what is the single biggest problem facing the country. Almost 20% of those surveyed said unemployment was their biggest concern. Among those between the ages of 18 and 35 years, that figure shot up to 49%. Other issues cited include development, growth and poverty (15%) and law, governance and corruption (13%).

The survey asked whether the government should punish those who eat beef, engage in religious conversion, do not stand for the nationalism or refuse to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’. It found differences across states, with people in UP, Delhi and Uttarakhand being mostly likely to support government punishment in such cases. Punishment for beef consumption had the largest support; only Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir had a higher percentage of respondents who opposed punishment rather than supported it in this case.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 13, 2022 3:16:16 pm |