• 13% Hindus think of Muslims are “highly patriotic”
  • Only 33% Hindus count a Muslim as a close friend
  • 74% Muslims have a close friend among Hindus

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NEW DELHI: As many as 91% Hindus have a close friend from among their own community but only 33% Hindus count a Muslim as a close friend. While 74% Muslims have a close friend among Hindus, 95% of of them have a close friend within the community.

If the figures point to “walls of religion” in cultivating relationships, they also reinforce the belief that community identities continue to hold sway over people in deciding who they trust.

A Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) study to probe “society and politics between elections” has found that maximum number of Hindus and Muslims have noted people from their own religion as close friends. The study also highlights what it calls “isolation of Muslims” across four states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka and Odisha where the survey was carried out.

While only 13% Hindus think of Muslims as “highly patriotic”, the figure is slightly better at 20% Hindus favouring Christians in the similar category and the percentage is 47% for Sikhs.

At least 77% Muslims consider their own community as “highly patriotic” but just 26% Christians see Muslims in the same light on this sensitive scale and the number is much lower at 11% among Sikhs. Interestingly, only 66% Sikhs consider Hindus to be “highly patriotic”.

The data also reports a high level of “majoritarian” attitudes. People were categorised as “liberal” and “majoritarian” on the basis of response to queries – should the government punish those who don’t respect the cow; don’t say ‘bharat mata ki jai’ at public functions; eat beef or cow meat; do not stand up for national anthem; or engage in religious conversions? Nearly 72% were found to possess “majoritarian” attitudes while 17% have “weak liberal” attitude and merely 6% with “liberal” attitude.

The mapping of trust among institutions has yielded a known fact – that Army enjoys the highest level of trust among people. In stark contrast, police, political parties and govt officials languish at the bottom of the trust pile.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/only-33-of-hindus-count-a-muslim-as-a-close-friend-survey/articleshow/58018664.cms