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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".