World's 'most racially intolerant country is not India = the survey is flawed and must be questioned

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I am outraged at this map about India. Not because I am an Indian, but because it is flawed. I have consistently stood up against wrong surveys and mis-representation of people, all people.  This is the second international survey that is so much out of the line this year. 

The first one was about the Sharia Survey by Pew on April 30, 2013 – and I have appeared on Fox News on May 1st to refute it and have written about it in Huffington Post.


India is pegged as the most racially intolerant country in the world, and this is not acceptable, off hand these are the questions; 

First of all, the question about race is flawed. To a typical Indian, there is only one race in India. However, the majority of Indians are not aware of the existence of all the anthropological races in India – Caucasian, Mongoloid, Negroid and the Brown, although the awareness has increased since globalization started. They may have colored the question differently or it was misunderstood.

Secondly, it is rather religion that is the cause of discrimination* than race in the subcontinent. Race, religion, language and caste are excuses to exploit the greed of humans. We should call it greed than race.  “Rang aur Nasl, Zaat aur Mazhab, Jo bhi aadmi say kamtar hai” (color, race, caste and religion are inferior to humanity) are all clubbed in many a songs as discriminating factor.  

Thirdly – depending on the strict race question, Pakistan has ranked as a tolerant nation, because in theory rarely a Muslim believes in superiority of one race over the other, as the Prophet had said in his last sermon**, but do they really follow the Prophet?  Had they followed, they would speak up against injustice and harassment of Hindu women, Sikhs and Christians, and stop the killing of Ahmadiyya and Shia Muslims. 
Pakistan is shown a higher degree of tolerance than India. No doubt, India does not have an impeccable record on religious discrimination, but it is much better than many of the other nations. India should realistically rank as more tolerant nation.

* Although discrimination is illegal in India as in the United States, but it is practiced widely where as in the US individuals have recourse with Law. India does not have an Equal Opportunity and Housing discrimination department to access. Urbanization is removing the barriers, but it would be the law on the side of the discriminated, that will change the society. 

** A survey is warranted here in the United States, a good percentage of Desi Americans (subcontinentians -south Asians of all religions) living in America are racist pigs, I am sick of their racist remarks. This needs to go, and I get stared at with contempt when I speak up against racism. 

I protest the survey and ask the Surveyors to reconsider the data and club the Rang aur Nasl, Zaat aur Mazhab, Color and race, caste and Religion as one item and redo the survey and rank the nations. 

May be the civility of nations index is warranted based on how they treat their minorities – race, religion, ethnicity, culture and language. 

The survey is flawed, and India does not deserve to be # 1 in negative way. This is my protest and if I get the support, I will take it further.

Mike Ghouse

The Book “Standing up for others” will be released on July 4th.  Mike Ghouse is committed to build cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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The Telegraph, UK
Saturday 22 June 2013

Swedish economists have stated that India, Jordan and Bangladesh are among the least tolerant countries in the world, while Britain is among the most accepting.

The World Values Survey asked respondents in more than 80 different countries to state the type of people they did not want as neighbours.

Over 40 per cent of respondents in India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong said they would not want a neighbour of a different race.

The British were among the most tolerant, along with former colonies the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. People in Latin American counties were also prepared to embrace racially diverse neighbours.

The data from the survey by Niclas Berggren and Therese Nilsson wasmapped by the Washington Post by Max Fisher.

In India, 43.5 per cent said they did not want someone of a different race as their neighbour. In Jordan it was 51.4 per cent, while in Hong Kong and Bangladesh, over 70 per cent said someone of a different race was their biggest concern in a neighbour.

Europe showed widely varying results, with France coming out as notably racially intolerant at 22.7 per cent. Former Soviet states such as Belarus and Latvia proved to be more tolerant than many of their European neighbours, according to the study.

Washington Post

• Wide, interesting variation across Europe. Immigration and national identity are big, touchy issues in much of Europe, where racial make-ups are changing. Though you might expect the richer, better-educated Western European nations to be more tolerant than those in Eastern Europe, that’s not exactly the case. France appeared to be one of the least racially tolerant countries on the continent, with 22.7 percent saying they didn’t want a neighbor of another race. Former Soviet states such as Belarus and Latvia scored as more tolerant than much of Europe. Many in the Balkans, perhaps after years of ethnicity-tinged wars, expressed lower racial tolerance.

• The Middle East not so tolerant. Immigration is also a big issue in this region, particularly in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which often absorb economic migrants from poorer neighbors.

• Racial tolerance low in diverse Asian countries. Nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where many racial groups often jockey for influence and have complicated histories with one another, showed more skepticism of diversity. This was also true, to a lesser extent, in China and Kyrgyzstan. There were similar trends in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

• South Korea, not very tolerant, is an outlier. Although the country is rich, well-educated, peaceful and ethnically homogenous – all trends that appear to coincide with racial tolerance – more than one in three South Koreans said they do not want a neighbor of a different race. This may have to do with Korea’s particular view of its own racial-national identity as unique – studied by scholars such as B.R. Myers – and with the influx of Southeast Asian neighbors and the nation’s long-held tensions with Japan.

• Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.

Update: I’ve heard some version of one question from an overwhelming number of readers: “I’ve met lots of Indians and Americans and found the former more racially tolerant than the latter. How can these results possibly be correct?” I’d suggest three possible explanations for this, some combination of which may or may not be true. First, both India and the U.S. are enormous countries; anecdotal interactions are not representative of the whole, particularly given that people who are wealthy enough to travel internationally may be likely to encounter some subsets of these respective populations more than others.

Second, the survey question gets to internal, personal preferences; what the respondents want. One person’s experiences hanging out with Americans or Indians, in addition to being anecdotal, only tell you about their outward behavior. Both of those ways of observing racial attitudes might suggest something about racial tolerance, but they’re different indicators that measure different things, which could help explain how one might contradict the other.

Third, the survey question is a way of judging racial tolerance but, like many social science metrics, is indirect and imperfect. I cited the hypothetical about Swedes and Finns at the top of this post, noting that perhaps some people are just more honest about their racial tolerance than others. It’s entirely possible that we’re seeing some version of this effect in the U.S.-India comparison; maybe, for example, Americans are conditioned by their education and media to keep these sorts of racial preferences private, i.e. to lie about them on surveys, in a way that Indians might not be. That difference would be interesting in itself, but alas there is no survey question for honesty.

Correction: This post originally indicated that, according to the World Values Survey, 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis and 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers had s
aid that they would not want a neighbor of a different race. In fact, those numbers appear to be substantially lower, 28.3 percent and 26.8 percent, respectively. In both cases, World Values appears to have erroneously posted the incorrect data on its Web site. Ashirul Amin, posting at the Tufts University Fletcher School’s emerging markets blog, looked into the data for Bangladesh and discovered the mistake. My thanks to Amin, who is Bangladeshi and was able to read the original questionnaire, for pointing this out. His analysis is worth reading in full, but here’s his conclusion:
The short answer is, yes, someone did fat finger this big time. “Yes” and “No” got swapped in the second round of the survey, which means that 28.3% of Bangladeshis said they wouldn’t want neighbors of a different race – not 71.7%.

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