Skip to main content

India's democracy score under NDA "better" than that of previous UPA rule: British conservative thinktank

By Rajiv Shah
The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), attached with the powerful British conservative weekly “The Economist”, has assessed India as ranking No 32nd, much better than the four peer countries South Africa (39th), Brazil (51st), Russia (134th), and China (136th) in its report Democracy Index 2016.
The EIU report comes despite doubts being expressed worldwide, including in India, about alleged efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to undermine democratic institutions.
Not only does the report, which is sub-titled “Revenge of the ‘Deplorables’”, rank India quite high, it insists, India is among the group of countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan which are “close to being classified as ‘full democracies’ (from 'flawed democracies') and could make the transition over the coming years, depending on public support for democratic governance, increased voter turnout or stronger confidence in political parties.”
Significantly, the report, which ranks in all 167 countries, has found that India has improved its overall ranking on a scale of 10 over the years. India’s latest score for 2016 was 7.81, an improvement over 7.74 in 2015, though a slight deterioration from 7.92 in 2014, but it is better than previous years.
India scored 7.69 in 2013, 7.52 in 2012, 7.30 in 2011, and 7.28 in 2010. These years happened to be the years of the Congress-led UPA rule, the report suggests. However, it gives no explanation on how the score went up in under the NDA government, led by the BJP.
What is particularly interesting is, on a scale of 10, India’s score is one of the best for the category "electoral process and pluralism", 9.58. And, despite concerns of human rights violations over the last three years, in civil liberties, too, the report scores India at 9.12 on a scale of 10, again one of the best.
The report appears to suggest, what may be pushing down India’s score is its political culture, in which it scores a poor 5.63 on a scale of 10. It scores 7.50 for functioning of government, and 7.22 for political participation.
The report states, “In the 2016 Democracy Index the average global score fell to 5.52 from 5.55 in 2015 (on a scale of 0 to 10). Some 72 countries experienced a decline in their total score compared with 2015, almost twice as many as the countries which recorded an improvement (38).”
The report says, “In the 2016 Democracy Index five regions, compared with three in 2015, experienced a regression – Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Western Europe – as signified by a decline in their regional average score.”
It further says, “Eastern Europe recorded by far the biggest decline (from 5.55 to 5.43). Not a single region recorded an improvement in its average score in 2016”, adding, “Two regions, Asia & Australasia and North America”, says the report, “stagnated in 2016.”
“Almost one-half (49.3%) of the world’s population lives in a democracy of some sort, although only 4.5% reside in a ‘full democracy’, down from 8.9% in 2015 as a result of the US being demoted from a ‘full democracy’ to a ‘flawed democracy’”, the report asserts, adding, “Around 2.6bn people, more than one-third of the world’s population, live under authoritarian rule, with a large share being, of course, in China.”
The US, a standard-bearer of democracy for the world, has become a “flawed democracy”, as popular confidence in the functioning of public institutions has declined, the report asserts, adding, “The score for the US fell to 7.98 from 8.05 in 2015, causing the world’s leading economic superpower to slip below the 8.00 threshold for a ‘full democracy’.”

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release of 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).