Indians want news more than booze amid the lockdown

Image: REUTERS/Amit Dave
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Indians consider reading and the well-being of their pets as more important during the lockdown, compared to the availability of goods of sin.

Up to 61% of Indians believe newspapers, magazines, and pet products should be classified as essential items that must be exempted from the coronavirus lockdown. Only 16% and 12%, respectively, favoured including alcohol and cigarettes in the category.

Among services, they thought of banking, and AC and refrigerator repair as the most critical, according to a survey conducted by YouGov, the UK-based public opinion and data company, which queried 1,000 Indians between April 21 and April 24.


Last week, the Narendra Modi government relaxed a few norms of the ongoing lockdown, permitting e-commerce players to sell non-essential items after April 20. It later backtracked on the decision.

This left Indians disappointed, the survey said, as they were hoping to order products such as kitchenware and gadgets.

Public opinion is divided on whether the government should allow gyms and fitness centres to operate. Nearly 46% of the respondents thought these establishments offer critical services.