Friday, April 29, 2016

Pakistan's Identity: Religion Trumps Nationality

Only 27% of the people in Pakistan identify themselves as Pakistanis first while 51% of Indians see themselves as Indians first. On the other hand, 43% of Pakistanis (vs 17% of Indians) say their religious identity comes first, according to Globescan Survey 2016  conducted in 18 countries including India and Pakistan.



Pakistanis' Self-identification:

The top choice of religion as the dominant identity by 43% of respondents in Pakistan is followed by 27% seeing themselves as Pakistani, 12% picking local community, 11% saying race or culture and 2% claiming global citizenship.  Those identifying as Pakistanis is up from 22% in 2011 while those who say they are Muslims first have decreased from a whopping 59% in 2011.






Pakistan Among 3 Stand-outs:

Pakistan is among three countries that stand out in how their populations see their identity. Spaniards are by far the most likely to identify with world citizenship (54%). For 56 per cent of Indonesians, belonging to their local community is the strongest defining identity. And for Pakistanis, a strong plurality (43%) identify first as a member of their religion.

Indonesia, where only 4% of the people identify themselves as Indonesian nationals, has over 18,000 islands spread over 8 million square kilometers, many with their own distinct languages and cultures. Former Indonesian President General Suhatro's mass literacy campaign to teach Bahasa Indonesia to promote nationhood has apparently not had a big impact.

The poll, conducted by GlobeScan among more than 20,000 people worldwide between December 2015 and April 2016, was released as part of the BBC World Service Identity Season—a Spring season of broadcasts on the World Service’s 27 language services exploring stories about how people identify themselves around the world, according to Globscan press release.

Global Citizenship:

Among all 18 countries where the identity question was asked in 2016, the poll suggests more than half (51%) see themselves more as global citizens than citizens of their country, against 43 per cent who identify nationally. This is the first time since tracking began in 2001 that there is a global majority who leans this way, and the results in 2016 are driven by strong increases since 2015 in non-OECD countries including Nigeria (73%, up 13 points), China (71%, up 14 points), Peru (70%, up 27 points), and India (67%, up 13 points).

Modern Nationalism:

Nation-state is a relatively recent concept in the history of mankind. Affiliations with religions, sects, and various units such as tribes, villages and towns significantly pre-date identification of people with modern nation-states.

The percentage of respondents identifying themselves as Pakistani first has increased from 22% in 2011 to 27% in 2016. Pakistani nationalism is still evolving. Rapid growth of literacy and modern mass media are helping promote a common national language and culture in the country, particularly since the beginning of the 21st century.  Development of various national and state institutions is accelerating the process.

In spite of continuing tribal, sectarian and ethic conflicts in many parts of the world, including Pakistan, modern nationalism has become the most visible political force since the 20th century. This force is backed by development and promotion of national languages and cultures. It is underpinned by organized military and security apparatus enforcing constitutions and laws developed by broad consensus in democratic societies.

Summary:

While 27% identification with the nation-state in Pakistan is about half the global average of 52%, this figure is growing with the promotion of Urdu as lingua franca and common culture promoted by the increasingly powerful mass media and entertainment industry in the country.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan: A Blessing for South Asian Muslims?

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Inspired by Misaq-e-Madina

Is Two-Nation-Theory Dead?

An Indian's View of Iqbal, Jinnah & Pakistan

Pakistan's War is Cultural

Pakistan Media Revolution

History of Literacy in Pakistan

12 comments:

19640909rk said...

"Only 27% of the people in Pakistan identify themselves as Pakistanis first while 51% of Indians see themselves as Indians first"

Most Indians of Hindus religious (Even so-called extrimist Hindus) background do not identify themselves with religion. For them India is their first identity. This phenemenon is purely a Muslim issue. They identify themselves first with their religion and nation next.

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk: "Most Indians of Hindus religious (Even so-called extrimist Hindus) background do not identify themselves with religion. "


There's no clear distinction between religion and nationality for most Hindu Indians because they worship India's rivers, mountains, lakes, stones, animals, etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Very convenient since India=Hindu Power.just like Russia=orthodox Christian power.both these countries are single country of any significance vis a vis the relevant religion.perhaps explains their close friendship...

Turk said...

I find this survey funny regarding Pakistanis. Below is another survey which says this, so it means that even if majority of Pakistanis don't identify themselves as Pakistanis, they will still fight for Pakistan. Pakistanis are more likely to fight for their country compared to Indians.

http://gallup.com.pk/majority-pakistanis-88-say-they-would-fight-for-their-country-if-there-were-another-war-gilani-pollgallup-pakistan/

Javed said...

Religion relatively speaking plays a less major role in the Indian way of life today. Rituals, worship, and other religious activities are only prominent in an individual's daily social life; it is also a principal organiser of social life.

The degree of religiosity varies amongst individuals; in recent decades, religious orthodoxy and observances have become less common in Indian society, particularly amongst young urban-dwellers. However, because the media industry has had explosive growth, reporting of religious animosity has grown too even though fewer percentage of people are affected than before. But media must continue to report so problems are addressed.

On the other hand, India has become more cohesive today as reflected in your numbers and nationalism is firmly entrenched and continues to grow. Reporting such news is boring because it does'nt make a good story.

NBRX said...

"A person shall not be qualified for election as President unless he is a Muslim of not less than forty-five years of age and is qualified to be elected as member of the National Assembly." Part III, Chapter 1, 41-2 The Constitution of Pakistan.

Part III, Chapter 3 similarly requires a Prime Minister to be Muslim.

The Muslim requirement was added and made mandatory by Zia-ul-Haq. Jinnah did not want any such requirement.



Haris said...

Most Pakistanis see Muslim and Pakistani identity as a unified identity.

Riaz Haq said...

Haris: " Most Pakistanis see Muslim and Pakistani identity as a unified identity."


Just as there's no clear distinction between religion and nationality for most Hindu Indians because they worship India's rivers, mountains, lakes, stones, animals, etc etc.

Riaz Haq said...

2011 Headline from Express Tribune: #Muslims first, #Pakistani distant second say majority: #Gallup poll

A majority of Pakistanis identify themselves as Muslims first, Pakistani second, a recent Gilani Poll conducted by Gallup Pakistan revealed.

In a survey, a nationally representative sample of men and women from across the country were asked the following question:

Different people choose to identify themselves differently. What do you consider yourself to be, first and foremost?

The results of the poll showed that a significant majority of Pakistanis (59 per cent) choose to identify themselves as Muslims first.

A little less than a quarter of the population (22 per cent) considers being Pakistani as its primary identity, while 10 per cent put their provincial identity first and seven per cent chose to identify themselves as human beings first.

Results also revealed that a greater percentage of respondents belonging to lower income categories and young age groups identified themselves primarily as Muslims as compared to those belonging to higher income categories and older age groups.

The survey was carried out among a sample of 2,774 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country, during April 2011.

Error margin was estimated to be approximately 2-3 per cent at 95% confidence level.

Man of Action said...

Riaz Haq:"There's no clear distinction between religion and nationality for most Hindu Indians because they worship India's rivers, mountains, lakes, stones, animals, etc etc."
That's just for hardcore extremist people (rest of Hindus hate them as well).
But there is other factor working here as well.
For the importance of religion, 23% Indians say religion is not important for them but that for Pak is only 11%.
Main reason of nationalism is campaigns and changed posture of media (I call it propagation of patriotism, you can call propaganda).
China is ranked no.1 Atheist country with over 90% of population.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_irreligion

Singh said...

I am surprised at the lower percentage of Indians identifying as Indians first. Hard to believe that for 49% of us our nation does not come first. Also, I expected us to score more on world citizen. My other surprise is Indonesia.

Gauravi Pal said...

The remaining 49% may not have selected religion. It could be language or state/city from which they hail or their caste which could be primary identity