2012 Pew Survey on India Reveals Economic Pessimism By Margherita Stancati Agence France-Presse/Getty Images The â€˜India Shiningâ€™ narrative no longer strikes a chord with majority of the population. Pictured, New Delhiâ€™s India Gate. Some argued it was gone long ago, and Indiaâ€™s growth figures certainly suggested as much: India Shining is a thing of a past, a narrative that no longer strikes a chord with the majority of the countryâ€™s population. This is the bottom line of a new public opinion poll conducted by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center. The study, released Monday, reveals that more and more Indians are pessimistic about their country â€“ especially when it comes to its economic performance. This year, only 45% of people surveyed are hopeful the economy will improve over the next 12 months, a significant drop from last yearâ€™s 60%. Compare this to Brazil and China, two other major emerging markets, where over 80% of people surveyed are confident their economies will improve over the next year. Where does this pessimism come from? â€œFaced with a slowing economy and political gridlock, Indians are dissatisfied with the ways things are going in their country, increasingly gloomy about the countryâ€™s economic future and also worried about their childrenâ€™s economic prospects,â€ the study said. â€œGone is the sense of well-being and optimism that prevailed just a few years ago when many private economists forecast that Indian economic growth would soon surpass that in China,â€ it added. While the study didnâ€™t mention India Shining â€“ conceptualized as a marketing slogan for the then-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2004 election â€“ this became the unofficial motto for the countryâ€™s rapid economic growth in the mid-2000s. But in recent years, growth figures started telling a different story. Indiaâ€™s economy expanded 5.5% in the April-June period. While this was higher than the 5.3% gross domestic product growth of the previous three months, it is a sharp drop from the over 9% expansion of early 2011. Unsurprisingly, fewer people now describe economic conditions as â€œgoodâ€: this figure has dropped to 49% from 56% in 2011, according to the study. The biggest economic worries were unemployment, inflation, and the rich-and-poor divide. The study, based on a survey of 4,000 adults and conducted in March and April of this year, also looked at how India views the world. There were few surprises when it came to Pakistan: only 13% of those surveyed said they viewed their neighbor favorably. This may change, as both sides are making efforts to improve bilateral relations. And, in India at least, public opinion seems to back this optimism: while they disliked Pakistan, most of those surveyed (70%) were in favor of improving relations. There wasnâ€™t much love for China, either. The study found that only 23% of respondents had warm feelings toward the other Asian giant.