According to an annual report on global political rights and liberties, India is now a “partly free” democracy. “Following the coming-in-power of Mr. Narendra Modi in 2014, civil liberties have been on a constant decline,” stated Freedom House in its report Democracy under Siege.
There’s been a battle of powers and a perpetual tug-of-war between democracy and authoritarianism, pointing towards a global shift. The government of India has not officially acknowledged the report as of yet.
Freedom House, an NGO based in the US, researches political freedom and human rights. It also stated that the number of countries designated as “not free” was at its highest level since 2006.
Further adding that the world’s democratic standards will probably be vastly affected due to India’s fall from the upper ranks of a “free nation” to a “partly free nation”.
Another comment in the report was quite noteworthy, “With India’s decline to Partly Free, less than 20% of the world’s population now lives in a Free country, the smallest proportion since 1995.”
Causes Of Deterioration Of Political And Civil Liberties In The Country
Increased pressure on human rights organizations, intimidation of journalists and activists, and a spate of attacks, especially those against Muslims, have been some of the leading causes of this deterioration in India’s status. “This has been the situation since 2014,” said the report.
“And after 2019, it only accelerated,” the report added. BJP’s coming-in-power has affected the nation’s democracy and forced the status into its current footing.
“Under Modi, India appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader, elevating narrow Hindu nationalist interests at the expense of its founding values of inclusion and equal rights for all,” the report said.
The suppression of those against CAA (a bill offering amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries) further ignited the already-present fire.
The government remains adamant on the alleged benefit the law will give to people fleeing religious persecution. While the fault-finding critics accuse that the bill is nothing but a part of BJP’s agenda to marginalize Muslims in Hindu majority India.
The government’s decision and method of curbing the spread of COVID-19 also came under fire as the report rendered it equally responsible for the global decline in freedom. The sudden lockdown imposed in March became the cause of the suffering (and in some cases, demise) of thousands of migrant workers.
What Does The Indian Online Crowd Think Of This Report?
Twitter, like always, stands divided on the report. While some think of questioning the foreign report as a blasphemous act, some others are assured about the no-nonsense policy of the government and its efforts for the betterment of the nation.
While some other citizens feel that the government’s veil has been finally lifted and their true selves (of being authoritarians) have been exposed, some further accuse the nation of having its eyes closed to the blatant death of absolutism (pointing at external forces in power).
Here is a snippet of the mixed reaction of Twitteratis:
What do you think about it? Tell us in the comments section below.
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