Data Reveals Most Indians "Do Not See Liberalism as a Virtue"

India, despite having a secular and pluralistic constitution, is still massively majoritarian in its views, according to a recent book by a data journalist. The book also claimed that India’s youth has a weaker commitment to democracy and freedom of speech than what is currently believed.

According to the data, “Age, education and urbanization, and income do not produce the moderating, progressive liberal effects on views that we in our popular imagination in India assume they do. Young people do not hold more progressive values than their parents or even their grandparents.”

Rukmini Shrinivasan, a data journalist from India, released a data-driven book called “Whole Numbers & Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India.”

Rukmini, a veteran field reporter who covered stories across India, and an award-winning data journalist, used her specialization to “paint a more nuanced, complex, and messy picture of India.

The book contained data from Rukmini’s research on how Indians think, work, love, vote, communicate and police themselves.

In an interview with Betwa Sharma of Consortium News, an investigative and political review publication, Rukmini explained that the data showed the “intensity of anti-Muslim sentiments, propaganda, and violence.”

This intensity has increased since Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.

Rukmini added that India, as a society, “continues to be steeped in casteism, where the banned practice of untouchability is still followed.”

The data also revealed that, despite women having the liberty to choose who they marry, most Indians firmly believe that “women should be subservient to their husbands and should not go out for paid work.”

When asked about India’s commitment to democratic principles and military support, Rukmini said she was not surprised by the data.

“The reason I was not is that I have been seeing this in opinion polling for several years now, and I feel that it was getting reported in a piecemeal and disjointed manner,” she told Consortium News.

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