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Unsafe After Sunset

The Hindu published the final part of our 4-part series on the Aspirations and Anxieties round of the Lok Surveys on Friday February 27. The article, “Unsafe after sunset”, highlights how respondents answered the question, “What is the latest time that you feel safe returning home alone?” and was written by Milan Vaishnav of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Neelanjan Sircar of CASI.

Our data also show that urbanisation is not a panacea for concerns about public safety. Rather, cities must invest in the “right kind” of urbanisation, with the sort of infrastructure seen in the largest cities. These cities have better amenities (such as street lights) and often have buses or even a metro that runs reliably until late at night. This demonstrates the positive secondary effects on the larger social environment when building infrastructure.

Follow the authors on Twitter: @MilanV @NeelanjanSircar

Read the other parts in the series:

Part 1: Being middle class in India

Part 2: Choosing thy neighbour

Part 3: The love for sons and appropriate attire

Read more about the Lok Pre-election Survey

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The rural/urban divide dies out

Neelanjan Sircar and Milan Vaishnav from the Lok survey team have released new analysis of the survey data in a recent guest post on the beyondbrics blog at

Come election time, a standard trope goes that India is engaged in a relentless tug-of-war between its rural and urban populations. On the one hand sit urban metropolises like Mumbai and Bangalore, whose cosmopolitan citizens rail against corrupt politicians, fetishise growth and care little for parochial concerns, like caste. On the other hand sits India’s vast rural hinterlands, where caste dictates social relations and corruption takes a backseat to basic sustenance. Yet if this divide did once provide an accurate description of the country, there is good reason to doubt it as India heads to the polls in 2014. Continue reading…fig-1-vaishnav-gp