State of the Indian Nation is Ruled by an abysmally Apathetic Citizenry: Survey

Last updated on Jan 24, 2012

Posted on Jan 24, 2012

Who Cares!!!??

A survey called the “State of the Nation” by CNN-IBN and GfK Mode, a research organization – has provided some interesting but devastating insights for future of India’s democracy.  The survey was conducted in 8 cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh between January 11 and January 14, 2012. 1731 persons above 18 years of age were interviewed during the whole exercise.

The results in brief: (IBNLive – link1 . link2)

  • The cities of the south and west are most active, whereas the cities of the north are the least active
  • 88 per cent people in Delhi saying that they never get involved with the activities of RWA
  • Reasons for non participation – Time constraint (65%), Involvement not necessary (45%), Civic agencies are corrupt (27%), Civic agencies discourage participation (19%)
  • Will you get involved in civic activites in your city?  Yes: 36%, No: 64%
  • Involvement in Resident Welfare Associations? Never: 61%, Sometimes: 38%, Daily: 1%
  • Most Indians prefer Ahmedabad over other metro cities
  • Would move to: Ahmedabad (41%), Mumbai (26%), Delhi (20%), Bangalore (5%), Hyderabad (1%).
  • What is important in the choice of cities: Career and Job Opportunities (38%), Safety and Security (10%), Education Infrastructure (10%), Healthcare (8%)

Some of the insights:

Indians are Apathetic people

64% of the people don’t want to get involved in any of the civic activities.  They are basically living for their own survival.  This is clarified by what is important to one in making the choice of the cities.  It is not pollution, not the parks, (they don’t even figure), and healthcare is the least important.  What is the major factor?  Career and Jobs.  So much is an ordinary Indian driven for his career and job that he doesn’t give two hoots about how things around him are.  As long as he is getting his pay check home and able to get his party fix for the weekend, he is perfectly fine.

Apathetic North Indians

Anybody who is from North and has been to any other part of India would agree that North Indians are the most apathetic.  But the extent did not hit me until I saw these results.  Amongst arguably the most apathetic people on the planet, North Indians – specifically from Delhi – take the cake.  No one comes even close.

Apathy is a deliberate way of being

In the entire set of results what shocked me most was the reply – Involvement in Civic Activities is not necessary!  Close to half of India’s major urban centers believes in that dictum.  Excuse me, but since when is involvement in your own life not be necessary?

It is as if we have a schizophrenic citizenry.  They want Democracy but want to live like people do in an autocracy or a dictatorship.  In the latter polities, you have no duties of your own.  You are just forced to do something.  In a democracy, you have to take charge because its YOUR polity.

We are running with no aim

If 65% of the people have no time to even care about anything else other than their jobs, then it is time one looks at one’s life.  Because you are just running.  You have no aim and no life really.  You are just surviving from one day to another, to live another.  It is a miracle that you are still alive, that is even worth anything!

Gujarat rocks, while Southern Cities Suck

Due to political vendatta by most parties – trying to appease a certain section of the population – Gujarat and Gujaratis in general have been treated shabbilly.  Very badly indeed.  While most of the development has happened in the Southern cities.

The truth is that by ignoring Gujarat, Indians and our corporates in particular, have foresaken their future.  Gujarat under Modi has done what many countries cannot do.  100 years from now, when we will look back at Gujarat, people will be amazed at the short-sightedness of the Indian populace and their masochism and apathy.


I am not sure how people look at this, but to me this survey is an indicator that India’s economic marvel is going to be very short lived.  It will take a miracle to raise the awareness and emotional intelligence of this mass of people.  If the democracy in India has to survive then the country needs to have its citizens being more aware and engaged.  All the money and survival instinct will be of no use if there is no one to save you.

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