Indians are strong votaries of Populism & Nativism: Ipsos Global Survey

Indians are strong votaries of Populism & Nativism: Ipsos Global Survey


MUMBAI: According to a new survey by Ipsos christened Populist and Nativist Sentiment 2019, the survey provides an interesting peek into views of Indians, about their beliefs on macro issues, especially about governance and immigrants with a strong sentiment emerging for Populism and Nativism. 

Interestingly, only 4 in 10 (40%) Indians believe that our society is broken. The sentiment is more profound at the global level, with over half of those polled (54%), across the 27 markets, believing that the society is broken; with some markets displaying alarming levels of disruption in society – particularly, Poland (84%), South Africa (78%), Brazil (74%) and Spain (69%).

The System is broken.

All is not hunky dory.

The good news for India ends there. So, while the society is not broken, the system is.

And there is a high level of disgruntlement palpable among Indians for 2 reasons: One, at least 69% of Indians polled feel that the economy is rigged to favor the rich and powerful. Two, 68% Indians feel that the traditional parties and politicians do not care about them. 

Populism – panacea?

There is a strong belief in populism and its effects - at least 80% of urban Indians polled believe a strong leader can wrest the country back from the rich and powerful. Further, at least 72% Indians believe that India can be fixed by a strong leader, who is willing to break the rules. However, skepticism is also seen to be rife, with at least 61% Indians complaining that the experts do not understand their lives. 

Nativism – strong sentiment for empowering the natives. Inclusivity for immigrants 

At least 63% Indians strongly believe that in the scenario of scarce jobs, employers should prioritize hiring natives/ locals over immigrants. Also, 49% Indians believe that immigrants tend to grab social schemes, depriving the locals, who should’ve been the beneficiaries, first. At the same time at least 35% Indians believe that as a country we would be better off if we allowed immigrants to settle in, especially those who expressed their desire to. This sentiment is the highest in India vis-à-vis all 27 global markets. 

"The System is broken, is the overriding view. It favors the rich and powerful and that politicians disregard interests of the Common Man. We see affinity for a strong leader, who is unafraid in taking bold decisions (Populism) and there is also a strong desire for Nativism – empowering of locals and natives via jobs and social schemes. There is a feeling of dilution, with immigrants taking away what is rightfully of the natives. At the same time, we see acceptance for immigrants, a feeling of empathy and inclusion," says Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India and Operations Director, Asia Pacific, Ipsos.