While welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Donald Trump described him as a 'true friend'. The two leaders spent a little less than five hours together, and shared dinner--it was Trump's first working dinner with a Head of State. Later, they hugged each other a couple of times during their joint statements in the Rose Garden.
The world witnessed the bonhomie of the "world leaders in social media"
But in all of this, does India really see the American President as a 'true friend'?
A poll released by Pew Research Center gauged global perceptions of the U.S. president, and it shows that even as most countries don't have confidence in Donald Trump, India doesn't quite hate him.
The responses of 40,000 people who were interviewed from 37 countries this year showed that Trump's policies "are broadly unpopular around the globe".
The report listed confidence of countries across the globe in Barack Obama at the end of his term and compared to that of Trump. In most countries, there's a huge difference. And Trump will surely not be happy about the result.
While 86% of Germans had faith in Obama, only 11% do so in Trump. In France, it's 84% and 14% respectively. It's similar in UK, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Canada and others.
However, only two of all the 37 countries have a better opinion of Trump than they had of his predecessor Barack Obama-- Israel and Russia, where 53 percent and 56 percent of people had favorable views, respectively.
Meanwhile, when it comes to India, it's a little dicey. While 58% had confidence in Obama, 40% feel Trump is a reliable President. So the difference is marginal.
The list shows that 40% is, in fact, a considerably high percentage of 'confidence level' compared to the other countries. A right-wing fringe group, Hindu Sena's, celebration of Trump's birthday every year may actually tell the tale of how many Indians feel about the President.
The Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes survey have been tracking global opinions of the United States and its president since 2002. The survey shows that at 74%, India had the most confidence in Barack Obama in the third year of his tenure in 2015. It decreased to 58% in 2016, and now the confidence level has gone down to 40%.
The report also points out that the world's views of the US and its president have shifted dramatically downward from where they were at the end of Barack Obama's presidency.
The above graph which compares India, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Germany shows that the global perception of the US President was very similar in 2007- 2008, during George Bush's tenure.
While the graph doesn't show how India felt about Bush, a previous Pew research report noted that amidst the Anti-Americanism that had surged in much of the world since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, Indian public opinion remained consistently pro-American.
The 2005 Pew Global Attitudes survey found that about seven-in-ten Indians (71%) have a favorable view of the United States. This compared to 41% in Germany, 42% in China, 59% in Canada and 23% in Pakistan.
Bush may have been unpopular in many countries around the globe, he was widely admired in India. In fact, India was the only country besides United States, in which a majority expressed at least some confidence in the American president.
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