Saturday, February 04, 2006

I stand vindicated!

A recent survey (between October 2005 and January 2006) conducted by GlobeScan and the University of Maryland for BBC has found that the most "positive" image of India exists in... Iran! Yeah! Of those surveyed, 71 per cent said India exuded a positive image. While there are no details on what conjures a "positive" or a "negative" image, I think the results hint at the historical links that still find resonance today and also why it is important to cultivate stronger ties with Iran. And yes, this comes after India's vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency last September, a move that did not go down too well in certain groups of Iranians. The youth of the two countries need to know more about each other, especially those in India. On the other hand, 24 per cent of the respondents in India thought Iran brings to mind a negative image. About the same (25 per cent) had a positive image of Iran.

As for India's fans, Afghanistan followed Iran with 59 per cent saying that India brought a positive image to mind. And what spoiled my day was that France - yes, France - turned out to be one of the countries that harbour the most "negative" image of India. Of those surveyed, 44 per cent responded that India didn't bring a smile to their faces. (The Philippines is worst with 57 per cent!) I wonder if the French linked their vote with the recent hostile bid by Mittal Steel for Arcelor, which employs 28,000 French people. Some task ahead for Indians in France... and that includes me!

Get the entire survey here.


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