According to Freedom House Report, India is not a free country now. Freedom house declared India as a partly free country.
Freedom House is a U.S.-based, U.S. government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization. It directs research and guide on self-government, legislative independence, and human rights.
In the recent Freedom House report, India’s freedom score is 67 which a decline of 9 points since 2005. And, because of this, world’s most populous democracy dropped from free country to partly free country. This report raises a question on government about the democracy.
Freedom House pointed out several points about India’s politics and democracy.
Reasons behind the decline
Unplanned lockdown during COVID-19 is one of the biggest reasons for this decline. Unplanned lockdown resulted in the dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers.
Report Said, “The ruling Hindu nationalist actions also encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims. Muslims were disproportionately accused of spreading the virus and faced attacks by vigilante mobs. Rather than serving as a supporter of democratic practice and a counterweight to authoritarian influence from countries such as China, Modi, and his party are tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”
India is the biggest democracy in the world. And, fall of India from the upper ranks of free nations can easily affect the global democratic standards.
“Political rights and civil liberties in the country have declined since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014. After 2014, pressure on human rights organizations, rising threatening of academics and journalists has increased drastically. And, a spate of biased attacks, including lynchings, aimed at Muslims.” Report stated.
According to the report, the decline of civil liberties decline has only accelerated after Modi’s reelection in 2019. Last year, the government increased its crackdown on protesters opposed to an unfair citizenship law and detained dozens of journalists who aired criticism of the official pandemic response.
The report also stated how Judicial freedom has also come under strain. Report Pointed out the case of a judge who was transferred instantly after criticizing the police for taking no action during riots in New Delhi. The riots that leftover 50 people, mostly Muslims, dead.
Freedom House Report underlines the approval of a law that bans forced religious conversion through interfaith marriage, which critics fear will effectively restrict interfaith marriage in general.
Authorities have already arrested several Muslim men for allegedly forcing Hindu women to convert to Islam.
Conclusion : Freedom House Report
In conclusion, according to the Freedom House Report, under Modi, India seems to have dropped its potential to serve as a global democratic leader. And, elevating narrow Hindu nationalist interests at the expense of its founding values of inclusion and equal rights for all.