India continues to be 'partly free' for the second consecutive time in terms of democracy and free society, according to the annual report of Freedom House, a US-based NGO that has been 'assessing the political rights and civil liberties' since 1973. It comes out with an annual report 'Freedom in the World' in which political freedom of over 200 countries is assessed on several parameters.
In its latest report, the Freedom House noted that democracies are being 'harmed from within by illiberal forces'. "Freely elected leaders from Brazil to India have also taken or threatened a variety of antidemocratic actions, and the resulting breakdown in shared values among democracies has led to a weakening of these values on the international stage," the report, authored by Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz, said.
In terms of numbers, India has scored 66 points for global freedom. Neighbouring Pakistan and Sri Lanka have scored 37 and 55 points, respectively. Countries with lowest freedom points are South Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Russia, Yemen and North Korea.
The report noted that the last 16 years of decline in global freedom are reason for the threat to democracy that most countries are facing today. At present 38 percent of the total global population is distributed in countries which come under the 'Not Free' category, highest since 1997. In comparison to this, only 20 percent of the world population lives in 'Free' countries.
"A total of 60 countries suffered declines over the past year, while only 25 improved," the report said. "The leaders of China, Russia, and other dictatorships have succeeded in shifting global incentives, jeopardizing the consensus that democracy is the only viable path to prosperity and security, while encouraging more authoritarian approaches to governance."
The report accused 'incumbent leaders and general' of carrying out illegitimate elections, power grabs, and coups with 'little fear of international repercussions in 2021'. Sounding an alert on the threats faced by global freedom, the report said that in countries with 'long-established democracies', the internal forces have exploited the shortcomings in their systems, distorting national politics to promote hatred, violence, and unbridled power.
"India, which has suffered a series of setbacks to political rights and civil liberties since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reelection in 2019, showed no signs of reversing course, as notable opposition figures faced arrest and surveillance," it said.
The Freedom House report mentions the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and said it 'tried to limit the opposition's ability to compete through various methods, including by pursuing selective corruption investigations.'
India's demotion to 'partly free' country in 2021 after being listed as free country in the reports of 2018, 2019 and 2020 was met with opposition from the Indian government which termed the report as "misleading, incorrect and misplaced".
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?