We love popularity contests. We always did well at them, back in school. Every year, just like that, we'd do so much better than we had the year before - so much room for improvement. This year, India wins the Most Improved Nation title, or something like that, in the latest BBC World Service poll (conducted by the firm GlobeScan), which asked 28,000 people around the world how they felt about other countries.
GlobeScan president Doug Miller said "India is the only country that has significantly improved its global stature in the past year, and is now even with China. Britain, while slipping a bit since 2005, appears to be avoiding the steep decline that its war partner, the US, is suffering. And it is fascinating that Chavez's Venezuela seems to be appealing to as many people as it is displeasing."
India got positive marks from people in 17 countries but negative marks from only 3 countries (where, it is rumored, distribution of KANK was widest, but that's just a rumor, with fewer than 2 sources). India appears to be the only South Asian country on the survey. Overall, Canada had the most favorable ratings. Israel, North Korea and the U.S. didn't do well at all.
Is any of this important? We're not sure, but it's becoming harder to keep track of all these surveys. Also, the more we envision a random individual on the street - someone we sort of know, but don't necessarily respect - being asked questions about Nigeria and Kenya, Indonesia and Hungary, the less is our faith in this survey.