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India Ranks Poorest On Social Hostilities Scale In South Asia

A recent report by the Pew Research Center has found India to be the poorest among both the 25 most populous countries and South Asian countries on the social hostilities index (SHI), which analyses 13 different issues pertaining to social tensions arising out of religious discord and violence.

According to Pewforum.org, the Social Hostilities Index is a measure of concrete, hostile actions that effectively hinder the religious activities of the targeted individuals or groups.

Pew had also revealed through its research in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that nearly two-thirds of the people of India supported the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party, giving the first major international indication that BJP was poised for a major victory.

In the recent research, titled ‘A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World’ India scored a high 9.5 on a scale of 10, worse than several South Asian countries, including Pakistan, which scored 7.7, followed by Bangladesh with a score of 7.2, Afghanistan with 6.5, Burma (Myanmar) with 5.9, Sri Lanka with 5.6, Nepal with 2.6, China with 1.3 and Bhutan with 0.4.

The report is the 10th since 2007 and seeks to delve into government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion.

The report states, “Communal violence has long been common in India, which continued to score high in this category in 2017.” It cited media reports to say how a dispute between Hindu and Muslim high school students in Gujarat escalated into a mob attack on the village’s Muslim residents, leading to homes and vehicles being set on fire and about 50 homes being ransacked by the mob.

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Naya Daur